MOUNTAIN YANANTIN AND ITS SKYLINE
Significance behind the images
This image of mount Yanatin was taken in front of the site’s keep, probably sometime during August.
This specific skyline is very special and much appreciated all over the world. In fact, it is used in pictures anywhere, from advertising materials to mere websites, and so on. One interesting reason why it is so special is that all workers of Machu Picchu can tell the exact date that the picture was taken on, only by looking at the sky. By using the skyline, the workers can determine exactly the day and the year, as the sun goes along the skyline like a clock, between one limit to the other limit, almost “oscillating” from one side to the other.
Another reason why this picture is so unique is that the skyline is never straight. It has a hundred thousand very small points, making it very easy to measure the position of the rising sun. So whenever there are not any clouds, which is at least seventy to eighty percent of days in a year, all the workers can tell the date, which is determined only by looking at the area to the east.
This special skyline is also the reason why the majority of the windows in the sanctuary are facing east. Moreover, the time can be determined by looking at the lower part of the skyline. Thus, when looking at Wayna Picchu, a watch is not needed.
Comparing different pictures, it is possible to see how the mountains are projected on the skyline, thus in the morning the effect is reversed. The sun comes out from the skyline in the back and, in the afternoon, shadows can be visible. Looking at the west side gives exactly the same effect, but upside down. Therefore, the skyline literally is an astronomical theater at every moment of the day. Any skilled person can tell the day and the time, taking into consideration that this can be done almost everywhere with mountains. Andean people had this ability, which is still greatly used in the current Andean culture.