Architecture and sacred landscape in pre-hispanic peru: A comparative approach from a gis perspective

Carlos Zeballos-Velarde, Gonzalo Ríos Vizcarra

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


One of the most relevant characteristics of the “landscape-friendly societies” is their ability to recognize aesthetic attributes to portions of the territory that exceed their functional purpose. In ancient Peru, there were many ways of relating architecture (religious, civil and production) with a broader “borrowed landscape”.This article presents a comparative multi-temporal analysis of the landscape relationships with sacred elements from different pre-Hispanic cultures in Peru, using remote sensing tools and geographic information systems. This approach allows to distinguish and compare factors of visibility, insertion in geomorphology, trace and metaphor, in relation to distinctive elements of the landscape such as mountains, rivers, lakes and deserts. Five representative cases have been selected for territorial studies: Moche, Wari, Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Sacsayhuaman, analyzing factors of urban and site composition and their relationship with their landscapes. Also, for an architectural level, a cloud-point model of Sacsayhuaman has been used for the study of solar alignment. Finally, a correlation is proposed between the morphology of architectural developments in the Andean territory with the system of beliefs that came together to model each place, forming sacred landscapes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Science, Technology and Innovation
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvances in Science, Technology and Innovation
ISSN (Print)2522-8714
ISSN (Electronic)2522-8722

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021.


  • Ancient Peru
  • GIS
  • Sacred landscape


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