Qenko – An Archaeological Site in the Sacred Valley of Peru
Qenko, or Kenko, is an archaeological site in the Sacred Valley of Peru. The site is located in the Cusco Region, Cusco Province, Cusco District, almost six kilometers northeast of Cusco. Qenko was declared a Cultural Heritage of the Cusco Region by the National Institute of Culture. It is one of the largest huacas in the Cusco Region.
Many huacas were based on naturally occurring rock formations. Inside the rock are large niches and a possible altar. This may have been a place where the mummies of lesser royalty were kept along with gold and precious objects. This sacred site occupies over 35,000 square feet and sits on what today is known as Socorro hill.
The rock is an excellent example of the Inca Rock Worship. It was thought to be a place where sacrifices and mummification took place. Qenko is the finest example of a rock artfully carved in-situ showing complex patterns of steps, seats, geometric reliefs, and a puma design. On top of the rock are zigzagged which served to course chicha or sacrificed llama blood for purposes of divination. The speed and route of the liquid, in conjunction with the patterns made in the rock, gave the answers to the priest’s invocations.
Qenko is made up of two areas; one is a large area, located next to the road from Sacsayhuamán to Písac. However, the small area a quarter of a mile farther back shows remains of high walls, a circular design, and the same carefully cut stones.