Evaluation of Military Features

Let us now turn to a discussion of the Oroncota complex function, paying particular attention to evidence of military features. The Oroncota building lacked surrounding perimeter walls. However, this Inka facility was hardly vulnerable. Access to the top of the Pucara Plateau is noticeably difficult. Furthermore, in the survey we documented several observation posts positioned along the margins of the mesa, intentionally overlooking the lower alluvial valley. We also found remains of linear wall segments on the northern edge of the Plateau that served to protect an entrance point (S-184).

Besides these elements, we did not find other architectural indicators of military use directly associated with the center. There were no interior platforms attached to the walls, and the structures did not have external shooting windows or “baffled” gateways. Furthermore, no sling or bola stones were recovered from the excavations or surface collections. In fact, the architecture exhibited great investment and elaboration, rather than the low-quality masonry characteristic of Inka forts. The kallankas were medium-size rectangular structures instead of featuring extensive barracks of low elaboration. In addition, there were a limited number of warehouses. Altogether, these features suggest that the Oroncota complex was not intended primarily to be a fortress, but, instead, a small administrative center with fine architectural execution.

 
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