Markawasi: Peru’s Inexplicable Stone Forest
by Robert M. Schoch,Ph.D.
When I was first invited to visit Markawasi by Peter Schneider during the summer of 2005, I had no idea what was in store for me. “Oh, another remote geological site with some interesting stone formations” I thought to myself. “Well, after all, I have a Ph.D. in geology and geophysics, and I am rather fond of rocks, so what is the harm in looking at a few more? Besides, the Peruvian Andes are spectacular and always wonderful to visit.” Little did I realize the profound and life-altering experiences that were in store for me there, and that are in store for anyone who visits Markawasi with an open mind and a willingness to be moved by the power of the place. And it was not as if I had never experiences “sacred sites” or Earth “power points” before. For instance, I have spent many years studying and experiencing firsthand the Great Sphinx and Great Pyramid, as well as numerous tombs, temples, and other holy spots in Egypt.
It is an honor and privilege to contribute to this guidebook on the Stone Monuments of Markawasi. Kathy Doore and Peter Schneider are instrumental in bringing the mystery and importance of Markawasi to a larger audience. There are lessons to be learned from Markawasi that will benefit all of humankind.
“ . . . natural adapted features in a sanctified landscape.”
These words (from John Michell, Confessions of a Radical Traditionalist, 2005) resonated in my mind as I explored the Markawasi Plateau. I had come to this small plateau (about two miles long by a little over half a mile wide) in the Andes, towering above the town of San Pedro de Casta (50 miles northeast of Lima), at an elevation of over 12,000 feet above sea level, to view for myself the reputed ancient monumental stone sculptures. Here, some claimed, were to be found the remains of a lost culture that dates back thousands of years, if not tens of thousands of years or more. Supposedly they created monumental carvings from the white to gray diorite and granodiorite cliffs, boulders, and outcroppings on the top of the plateau – – carvings of an anthropomorphic and zoomorphic nature, including peoples of many different races and animals found not just in the immediate vicinity, but from other continents as well. There was even an alleged sculpture of the Egyptian divinity Ta-urt (Thoueris), goddess of childbirth and maternity, in her typical form as an upright female hippopotamus. If these reports were true, this would indicate a pre-Columbian culture that had transoceanic ties, and just perhaps it represented a branch of the primordial global lost civilization of which many writers and philosophers have speculated over the centuries. Certainly such reports piqued my interest, especially since I have championed both the concept of a very ancient high civilization and the idea of significant global contact among cultures long ago.
Before leaving the U.S., I was warned that Markawasi (Marcahuasi) is a landscape of strange, anomalous phenomena, be they encounters with extraterrestrials (many UFOs, which the Peruvians refer to as ovni/ovnis, have been sighted from the plateau), inhabitants of the reputed tunnels that lie beneath the Andes, or the ghosts, witches, and spirits that some believe populate the site. Visitors to the plateau have experienced altered states of inner consciousness, accompanied by telepathic and clairvoyant abilities, whether in the dream or waking state. What might await me in this preternatural setting?