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Studies in Exploration & Archaeology
by Vincent R. Lee, MFA, Architect
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Reconstructing the Great Hall at INKALLACTA

Studying the once hidden, fallen gable wall at the west end of the Great Hall at Inkallacta, Bolivia, reveals the secret to supporting its monumental thatched roof


Reconstructing the Great Hall at INKALLACTA

Reconstructing the Great Hall at INKALLACTA

The Andean empire of the Inkas is best remembered today by the many ruined buildings still found standing proudly throughout their onetime domain, stretching from southern Columbia to central Chile and northwestern Argentina. The Peruvian structures in and around Cuzco and Machu Picchu are familiar to many, but other lesser-known sites far from the Inka homeland are equally impressive.

Among these, the Bolivian provincial capital at Inkallacta surrounds the “Great Hall,” the largest single building still standing from the Inka period. Called a “kallanka,” it was typical of the public meeting halls the Inkas built alongside their plazas to accommodate large crowds in foul weather.

This one, 26 meters wide by 78 long, still partially stands on all four sides, and how it’s builders roofed such a large area has long puzzled researchers. An expedition there by the author in 1991 discovered a long-concealed detail that solved the problem. This paper is the story of that discovery and what we learned from it.

This paper was originally published as part of a collection titled Investigations in Bolivia, and has since appeared in Andean Past, Vol. 5, 1998, the journal of the Latin American Studies Program at Cornell University.

$21.00 USD (includes domestic shipping)
42 pages · 15 photos · 2 maps · 9 diagrams · 5 drawings · soft cover

Take a look inside this publication

  • Ruins of the Great Hall, Inkallacta, Bolivia

4 sample images from this book
“RECONSTRUCTING THE GREAT HALL AT INKALLACTA” © 1992 Vincent R. Lee, all rights reserved