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Moray is an archaeological site approximately 50 km northwest of Cusco on a high plateau at about 3,500 m and just west of the village of Maras, that sits six hundred meters above Urubamba and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
The site contains unusual Inca ruins, mostly consisting of several enormous terraced circular depressions, the largest of which is approximately 30 m 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 15 °C (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.
Three large natural depressions in which terraced co-centric circles were constructed. Seeds cultivated at this site were likely sent throughout the Incan empire to improve yield in the harsh conditions of the Andes and were probably one of the benefits offered by the Incas for peaceful incorporation of neighboring tribes into the Incan empire.
Today the site is a series of co-centric circles on plateaus 400 m above the valley floor (3,200-3,500 m above sea level). The site was designed by the Incas to take advantage of natural depressions below the level plain and model Andean, jungle and semi-tropical environments for the growth of different plant varieties.
Pollen studies indicate that soils from each of these regions was imported by the Incas to each of the large circular basins. In the largest of the depressions (150 m) a series of water channels can be seen finding their way to the bottom.
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