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Evidence of Vitrified Stonework in the Inca Vestiges of Peru (cont.)
By Jan Peter de Jong & Christopher Jordan


The stones pictured above provoke much debate. Explanations on how they were produced vary from the use of advanced machines, simple metal or stone tools, molded stonework, concentrated sunlight and fire methods. Whilst the analysis above says little about the way the shapes were made, it does eliminate some ideas on the means of producing these exquisite finishes.

The finish on the stone sample was not the thickest, shiniest or the glassiest of the examples. However, its composition and morphology are the same as a ceramic glaze. This means that heat was somehow applied to the stone. How the heat was applied is not clear. What is clear is that an unknown technology has been used. To create ceramics on this scale, the heat production must have been greater than the normal ceramic methods.

The most referenced work on the stonework of Peru was produced by Protzen. His work deals primarily with the carving of the stones with primitive tools. However, Protzen has looked at these effects and has suggested it could be achieved with polishing. To date, only Andesite has been attempted with very limited success. After the analysis of the surface layer above, it is clear that polishing alone will not produce the requisite heat needed to produce a ceramic glaze. This eliminates polishing as a means of creation.

The scale and form of the phenomena also precludes carving and polishing. It would take truly incredible amounts of time to produce a single vestige, let alone the thousands that dot the landscape.

Peruvian Alfredo Gamarra has identified vitrification on many stones and has argued that the ancients had a technology to treat stone with heat and that the stone was soft at the moment of construction. The comparison at the spectrum level with clay and ceramic pastes is interesting. Ceramic pastes and clay are soft prior to being treated with heat.

Conventional geological understanding is not compatible with this idea. However, the impression from the vitrified stonework is that the stone was once soft. In many of the stones, there are places where it looks as if objects or molds were pressed into the stone. The perfect fitting stones in the walls of Cusco and the other Inca vestiges could have been obtained more easily this way.

If the stones were fired in a kiln like bricks, the glaze could be a result of the extremely high temperatures. It is not uncommon for the bricks in ancient kilns to get so hot they melt. This usually occurs near the top of the chamber where the heat rises. The knowledge of ceramics in ancient Peru suggests this is a distinct possibility. This prospect however, only arises with the stones that can be placed in a kiln or stonework that is part of a kiln.

The examples laid onto the sides of huge natural rocks cannot have been produced by standard fire techniques. The European studies of vitrified forts and experimental work show that it is not possible to create the consistent heat required for the smooth finishes. Compared to the European examples there must have been a much more controlled process, since the layers in Peru are even over large parts of the stone surfaces. The scale of giant perfect fitting walls and some vitrified mountain walls makes the technology question even more complicated than in Europe.

Another option is the use of sun dishes and concentrated sunlight by the ancients. This is briefly discussed by Prof. Watkins in his 1990 paper on fine Inca stonework. He did consider these stones to be vitrified, ''The rock surfaces on Inca stones are similar to those that have been thermally disaggregated. Indeed, some of the slick surfaces on the Inca building stones are glazed, so it becomes apparent that the Incas must have used thermal disaggregation.''

In this seminal paper, his chief concern was the methods of cutting the stone. Since he was proposing intense heat to cut the stones, it was not a large step to consider the stones melted. His conclusions have been much maligned since there had been no analyses performed.

The analysis above does point in this direction, but the location of the test sample raises issues. Clearly the stone was not moved before or after the glaze was created. The ceramic paste had to be heated whilst on the stone vestige. This means light would have to be reflected deep into the cave. Whilst it is possible that the ancients were capable of producing flat mirrors for the task, it does seem overly complicated. This method could work for stones on the surface, but is clearly limited in its use deep within a cave.

One last possibility is that the cave itself was a kiln. Pots or vases may have been fired in the cave and the ceramic pastes may have been applied to protect the stone mass of the structure. There is a lot of stone discoloration within the cave and innumerable glazed areas. There are several things that could confirm this view. There would be a route for the smoke to exit. There would be evidence of soot deposits, though they may have been washed away over the years. The comparison to Inca vestiges with vitrification found out in the open air or in places without a smoke escape, leaves many open questions.

On balance, it has to be admitted that a method is difficult to define. Further analysis of samples from the various locations needs to be undertaken to confirm the use of heat in all of the sites. However, the sample tested shows explicitly that the similarity to ceramic pastes is near certain. It is obvious to conclude that heat was used. The treatment method may have been similar to the technology used for ceramic pastes, only on a much larger scale. It is suggested that further investigations are carried out at the geochemical level to shed more light on what happened to these stones and what technology was used.

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-Jesús Gamarra Farfan especially, for showing, explaining and filming these stones.

The following persons we want to thank for their cooperation and feedback:

-Prof. Schuiling, Tilly Bouten and Anita van Leeuwen, Geology department University of Utrecht.

-prof. Kars, Institute for Geo and Bioarchaeology, IGBA, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

-David Campbell,

-Paul D. Burley,


-Jordan, C., The Ancient Solar Premise, Smashword edition, 2011,

-Gamarra Farfán, J.B., Parawayso. April 2008.

-de Jong, Jan Peter,

-Morris, M., The great pyramid secret, Scribal arts 2010.

-Protzen, J.-P. l986. Inca stonemasonry. Scientific Amer. 254: 94-105.

-Prof. Watkins, I. 1990. How Did the Incas Create Such Beautiful Stonemasonry?" in "Rocks and Minerals" Vol. 65 Nov/Dec 1990.

-Thurlings, B, Wie hielp de mens? Uitgeverij Aspekt. 2008.

-X - Ray spectra of minerals and materials:

-Silvano R. Bertolino, Victor Galván Josa, Alejo C. Carreras, Andrés Laguens, Guillermo de la Fuente and José A. Riveros in Wiley Interscience Online, Dec. 2008. X-Ray Techniques Applied to Surface Paintings of Ceramic Pottery Pieces From Aguada Culture (Catamarca, Argentina).

Jan Peter de Jong

website Ancient Mysteries Explained

Video The Cosmogony of the Three World

Christopher Jordan

Website Secrets of the Sun Sects

Books The Ancient Solar Premise , The Secrets of the Sun Sects

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