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Moray:  Inca Engineering Mystery


Inca Engineering Mystery

Kenneth R. Wright, P.E., L.S.; Ruth M. Wright, J.D.; Alfredo Valencia Zegarra, Ph.D.; and Gordon McEwan, Ph.D.

ASCE Press

2011 / 228 pp.

Soft Cover - In Stock
$59.00 List / $44.25ASCE Member
Stock No. 41079 / ISBN: 9780784410790
E-book (PDF) - Available for Download in ASCE Library
$59.00 List / $44.25ASCE Member
Stock No. 47661 / ISBN: 9780784476611

Halfway between Machu Picchu and the city of Cuzco, Peru, lies a civil engineering wonder that has captivated and puzzled researchers and travelers since it was first photographed in 1931. Situated on a plateau, the ancient Inca site of Moray consists of many terraced circular depressions in the earth, the largest of which is 30 meters (98 feet) deep. The difference in temperature between the top and the bottom of the circles can be as much as 15 °C (27 °F). 

What are the mysterious concentric circles? What do they mean? Was this a religious site? An agricultural research station? Moray: Inca Engineering Mystery reports the results of an exhaustive investigation into the surveying work underlying the site’s construction, as well as the engineered systems for collecting and delivering water. Ken Wright and his team take the reader on a tour of Moray, describing the geography and geology of the area. They explain their field evidence that led to solving the Inca mystery and resolving decades of speculation.    

The book includes a walking tour and map to guide visitors through Moray’s significant features. 

Profusely illustrated and written in nontechnical language, Moray will appeal to civil engineers interested in earthworks, water supply systems, and engineering history, as well as the tourist and armchair traveler.   

About the Authors 

Kenneth R. Wright, P.E., L.S., is founder and chief engineer of Wright Water Engineers, Inc., a Denver consulting firm specializing in water resources and municipal utility design. He is author of Machu Picchu: A Civil Engineering Marvel (ASCE Press, 2000) and Tipon: Water Engineering Masterpiece of the Inca Empire (ASCE Press, 2006).

Ruth M. Wright, J.D., is co-author of the best selling The Machu Picchu Guidebook published in 2001 and revised in 2004.  She is an award-winning photographer with photos appearing in numerous publications, including National Geographic Magazine.  Her photo-essay Machu Picchu Revealed was published in 2008.

Alfredo Valencia Zegarra, Ph.D., was a professor at the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at Cusco and a registered professional archaeologist with the Instituto Nacional de Cultura de Peru.  He spent several years as the Machu Picchu resident archaeologist and was coauthor of The Machu Picchu Guidebook and Machu Picchu: A Civil Engineering Marvel

Gordon McEwan, Ph.D., is a professor at Wagner College on Staten Island in New York. As an Andean scholar, he has led archaeological research projects in Peru over the course of 23 field seasons at Pikillacta and Chokepukio.


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