Tomebamba - Azuay 1/3
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The old village of Tomebamba was settled in the province of Azuay, in the vicinity of the modern city of Cuenca, in the parish Huayna Capac.
PHOTO CREDIT: QUITO ADVENTURE

The Tomebamba word was used to refer to the province and the ancient city of Cuenca (which should not be understood from the European or modern concept of city). Prior to the arrival of the Spaniards and the Incas, this human settlement and infrastructure, was built by the Cañari Lordship of the region.

 

The city established in a valley was the political, religious and administrative center. The vestiges prove that in the area existed a Cañar culture occupation. The Cañaris called this site Guapondelig and on it the Incas built Tomebamba at the end of the 15th century.

 

With the arrival of the Incas, the old Cañari town was practically destroyed and on its foundations was raised the second capital of the Tahuantinsuyo. This town was built as the headquarter of the Inca Empire. According to the chronicler Cieza de Leon in 1547, in a vast extension were built spaces destined to different uses such as: the Palace for use of Inca Huayna Capac, the Temple of Viracocha, the Temple of the Sun for worship and religious worship, barracks and smaller accommodations.

 

Within the city were also structures of Inca engineer to simplify access to resources such as: water channels, ponds for bathrooms, terraces for cultivation and finally several kanchas (open spaces that are related to what now are the public squares).

 

Tomebamba traditionally has been considered as a large urban Center that extended from Pumapungo, to the center of the city of Cuenca. But according to some researchers this assumption is not true because Tomebamba had just 60 years having been founded by the Incas and began to grow slowly, moreover, is considered that it was still under construction, proof of this is that Huayna Capac ordered to bring the stones of Cuzco to be used in Tomebamba but did not reach their destination and were abandoned in Paquishapa, Saraguro.

 

Should be consider that the ancient Inca city of Tomebamba had a core with its main square, Pumapungo, where was concentrated the Organization, as well as the religious, political and administrative power. The city was a scattered population which inhabited 40 to 50 hectares.

 

Therefore the administrative Center of Tomebamba was Pumapungo. There were villages as Paucarbamba, which can be compared to a rural neighborhood with dispersed homes and without any urban architectural construction. Pumapungo site can be visited and is still under investigation by the importance that had for the Inca Empire.

 

River stones were used for the construction of Tomebamba. The stones were joined with clay mortar, using a refined technique which consists of carving blocks without edges that undeniably belong to the imperial Inca style. The thickness of the walls is varied, can measure between 1 m to 2.80 metres. Squares, alleys and places in the open air were also covered with boulder.

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