- Paperback: 168 pages
- Publisher: American Society of Civil Engineers; illustrated edition edition (August 8, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0784408513
- ISBN-13: 978-0784408513
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,835,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tipon: Water Engineering Masterpiece of the Inca Empire illustrated edition Edition
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"[Wright's] clear admiration for the aesthetic beauty and functionality of these structures leaves readers wishing to meet the Inca engineers who made scarce water serve so many needs." -Choice: Reviews for Academic Libraries "...recommended for anyone who wishes to appreciate and celebrate the accomplishments and importance of water engineering in a global and historical context." -Journal of the American Water Resources Association
About the Author
Kenneth R. Wright, P.E., L.S., is founder and chief engineer of Wright Water Engineers, Inc., a Denver consulting firm specializing in water resources and municipal utility design. He is the author, with Alfredo Valencia Zegarra, of Machu Picchu: A Civil Engineering Marvel (ASCE Press, 2000).
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Top customer reviews
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Visiting Tipon in March of 2005, I found the draft manuscript of this book to be of tremendous assistance in focusing on Tipon's stunning utility, in addition to its musical beauty. The sight and sound of running water is everywhere.
From the book you learn about many features of Tipon and the Andean experience you do not obtain from current travel books, or from the Peruvian guides assigned to you by the tour companies. Visiting this site not far outside Cusco is the perfect compliment to Machu Picchu, whose civil engineering and visitor features are the subject of two other books co-authored by Ken and Ruth Wright with Peruvian anthropologist Alfredo Valencia.
Located in a high ravine above the Cusco Valley, Tipon is a paradigm of careful water planning for food supply and ceremonial purposes. Its aesthetic, highly functional design holds an ascending stair-step arrangement of skillfully constructed agricultural terraces for the growing of maize. A comprehensive drainage system underlies the entire site. Points of water-discharge slot through walls of shapely-fitted stone that contain fertile soil the workers brought in for cultivation. These people knew that carefully tended earth was vital to survival, so they created places within the mountain sides built to be earthquake and erosion resistant.
Water ritual was also vital to their way of life. In the ceremonial center of Tipon, a perennial spring feeds a magnificent fountain. Four jets of singing water fall gracefully into a splash pool. This water is drinking water pure. The jets are well-designed for easy filling of water jars. After stilling, the water trails down onto the lower agricultural terraces.
The upper agricultural terraces receive their watering through a surface diversion from the Rio Pukara 0.84 miles away. Three canals and an aqueduct system take this river water into Tipon for irrigation, supplementing spring water for growing crops. These people early- practiced conjunctive use of ground and surface water.
You ascend the agricultural terraces one-by-one along a walking path. At your feet a stone channel runs water. You can see and hear many other conduits conducting water across and through the walls, down wall-faces, along wall footings. Few sites in the world resound like this! Yes, it's a water garden.
Above all looms 13,000 foot Tipon Peak on which the Cruzmoqo is prominent. This is a revered shrine, signal station, and security outpost site marked with ancient petroglyphs. You can circumnavigate by foot an entire mountain side, and feel why the Quechua people have always believed these mountains are sentient.
When you see and understand Tipon in combination with Machu Picchu through the Wright and Valencia books, you appreciate the grace, beauty, ability, and spirituality of the Andean people of the Cusco region. The Inca perfected Tipon into a royal estate, but people of the area grew crops and lived within this challenging montane stronghold long before that.
The Inca learned their lessons about feeding and governing people by means of a well-designed system of land and water works from their predecessors, the Wari and Tiwanaku cultures. An important feature of this book is Gordon McEwan's chapter devoted to the history, culture, and archeology of the Lake Titicaca/Cusco highlands. McEwan, an American archeologist working with Peruvian crews, has devoted twenty-five years of his life to the study of the nearby Pikillacta and Chokepukio sites in the Cusco Valley.
Tipon: Water Engineering Masterpiece of the Inca Empire is a fine and fun mix of reading for engineers and non-engineers. Anyone who first visits the Andean highlands wants to know more-and-more about this incredible people and their landscape. I saw young Peruvians at the site who are studying to be the region's future tour guides. Without doubt the Wright, Valencia, and McEwan books help educate the country's citizens and strenghten its economy by helping travelers.
The many photographs, figures, and charts in this book add to a well-documented and common sense presentation of a highly important land and water legacy of international significance. Introductions to each chapter provide an enticing oversight to what is coming next. Technical material, though ample, is explained in readable narrative that does not intimidate the non-technical person. Combinations of detail and insight across disciplines, founded on good field work performed through a team approach, show themselves valuable on every page.
Personal discovery of Machu Picchu by anyone who has ever been there is a lifetime revelation. Discover Tipon as well. It belongs in the lineage of great waterworks of the Americas, along with Machu Picchu's sixteen fountains.
The first thing that struck me is that whilst this book boasts alot of photographs not many of them are especially good, either in their composition (often amateurish) or quality. Almost all are in black and white. Some of the photos are so dark as to be almost black with all detail lost do to the photographer not compensating for lighting conditions. Some features which are especially noted in the text of being of interest are frustratingly not illustrated whilst others are illustrated again and again often just with different team members from the engineering crew in the frame.
I found the maps to be of average quality. For example in the map of the Intiwatana complex several buildings (10, 11 and 12) are shown with surrounding walls but no entrance or exit to the outside world. This is obviously a mistake on the map makers part or requires explanation (where is the doorway?. This was disappointing given the books engineering bent and left me with as many questions as answers as to how well measurements had been taken.
Finally the text - about half the chapters are general comments on the Inca and ancient man in the Andes and not specific to Tipon. If you know anything on the Inca you will have heard all this stuff before and it adds little value to the work.
On the positive side the information on the hydrology of the site was of interest to me as a general reader and well written. I think it is very useful to recognise how important water was to the Inca both functionally and aesthetically, and how adept they were in designing the structures required to control it. The walking tour information (though brief) is also of use if you intend to visit the site, but not of much help otherwise to the armchair traveller as it is so brief and glosses over the details - disappointing if you are not able to visit Tipon in the near future and given that there seemed to be architectural features of significance there that are not given the depth of treatment they probably deserve.
Tipon is an ancient Inca archaeological site that seems to be just beginning to get some attention. It was a walled settlement about 500 years ago, with many amazingly intact structures left behind. The way that the Inca handled water supply and irrigation at this site was truly marvelous. The book takes us through every facet, from the walls to the canals to the overall background of the site and the Inca.
Tipon: Water Engineering Masterpiece of the Inca Empire is informative on many levels. I enjoyed the book as an armchair traveler, but think it would be appreciated by anybody with an interest in history, archaeology, engineering, hydrology, the Inca, and Peru in general. The walking tour will be especially useful if I ever get to Tipon, which I now plan to do. I wouldn't go there without this book in hand!