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No. 41: Sep-Oct 1985

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The Inka Road System

An important new archeological book bears the above title (and an alternate spelling of "Inca"). As one reviewer puts it:

"The Imperial Inka road system must rank alongside the Great Wall of China and the Egyptian Pyramids as one of the greatest achievements of any ancient civilization. Yet despite this, relatively little is known about the nature, extent and functioning of this vast communications network."

Some impressive statistics: The Inka Road System runs for more than 23,000 kilometers through Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina. Generally, the roads were 11-25 meters wide. They were greatly superior to anything built in Europe at that time. One reviewer notes that many of the so-called Inka highways had a non-Inkan origin -- and then leaves us hanging. What pre-Inkan civilization built such roads?

(Saunders, Nick; "Monumental Roads," New Scientist, p. 31, June 8, 1985. Also: Lyon, Patricia J.; "Imperial Connection?" Science, 228:1420, 1985.)

From Science Frontiers #41, SEP-OCT 1985. 1985-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987