Maras, Peru

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Moray is an archaeological site in Peru approximately 30 mi northwest of Cuzco on a high plateau at about 11,500 ft. As you'll note by the cars and people in the lower left hand corner, the site is immense and was clearly a highlight of my aerial photography journey - it's simply breathtaking to see.

The site contains unusual Inca ruins, mostly consisting of several enormous terraced circular depressions, the largest of which is approximately 98 ft deep. As with many other Inca sites, it also has a sophisticated irrigation system.

The purpose of these depressions is uncertain, but their depth, design, and orientation with respect to wind and sun creates a temperature difference of as much as 27 °F between the top and the bottom. It is possible that this large temperature difference was used by the Inca to study the effects of different climatic conditions on crops. Speculation about the site has led to discussion about Moray as an Inca agricultural experiment station. Its microclimatic conditions and other significant characteristics led to the use of the site as a center for the ancient study of domestication, acclimatization, and hybridization of wild vegetable species that were modified or adapted for human consumption.
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