- Peter R. Foster, P.E.
- Moray: An Inca Engineering Mystery
- May 17, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
Baldridge Hall, Montrose United Methodist Church
(at the corner of S. 1st Street and Park Avenue)
Moray is an Inca site located about 30 miles northwest of Cuzco in Peru, and a similar distance from Machu Picchu. It is spectacular for its size and shape, intriguing for the evidently meticulous planning and design, and enigmatic for its unclear function. It consists of a series of deep excavations consisting of concentric circles in the form of terraces, with carefully constructed terrace walls and a well-thought-out water supply system. The largest of the basins is nearly 100 feet deep and some 1000 feet across. A fascinating aspect of these basins is that the temperature at the bottom of one of them might be nearly 30° F different from the temperature at the top. Since 1931, archaeologists and engineers have wondered about the purpose of these features, with the prevailing explanation being that they represent an agricultural experiment station in which the suitability for different crops in different microclimates was tested, with terraces simulating the climate in different zones of the great Inca Empire.
Peter Foster will present an analysis of this enormous and mysterious feat of Inca engineering. As Vice President of Wright Water Engineering and Wright Paleo-hydrological Institute in Durango, Peter is uniquely suited to analyze this enormous terraced feature to determine how it functioned in ancient times. Wright Water Engineers has participated in many such studies of the science behind ancient construction features in places as diverse as Mesa Verde and Pompeii.
Peter Foster is Vice President of Wright Water Engineering (WWE) and Wright Paleo-hydrological Institute (WPI) in Durango, and is uniquely suited to analyzing this enormous terraced feature to determine how it functioned in ancient times. Wright Water Engineers has participated in many such studies of the science behind ancient construction features including Mesa Verde.
Peter is a native of Grand Junction, CO. He is married to Nancy Foster and they have two boys Liam and Nathan. He graduated from The Colorado College and went on to earn a Master’s degree in civil engineering (Colorado State University, 1994), specializing in water resources planning and management. He is a registered professional engineer in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. As Vice-President of WWE, Peter manages the firm’s Durango office and works as a Senior Project Engineer on water rights analyses, water supply feasibility studies, environmental permitting, and design and construction of water and wastewater facilities for ditch and canal companies, municipalities, Native American tribes, special districts, and private industry. He has over 20 years of water engineering experience.
He received gubernatorial appointments to serve on the boards of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad (2007-2015) and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Environmental Control Commission (2006-2012). He participates in Wright Paleohydrological Institute focusing on the Four Corners Area, Peru and Pompeii, Italy.