The Temple of the Condor in Machu Picchu is a breathtaking
example of Inca stonemasonry. A natural rock formation began to take
shape millions of years ago and the Inca skillfully shaped the rock
into the outspread wings of a condor in flight.
On the floor of the temple is a rock carved in the shape of the condor's
head and neck feathers, completing the figure of a three-dimensional
bird. Historians speculate that the head of the condor was used as
a sacrificial altar. Under the temple is a small cave that contained
a mummy. A prison complex stands directly behind the temple, and is
comprised of human-sized niches and an underground maze of dungeons.
According to historical chronicles that documented similar Inca prison
sites, an accused citizen would be shackled into the niches for up
to 3 days to await the deliberation of his fate. He could be put to
death for such sins as laziness, lust, or theft.