About Machu Picchu

The Inca, as many other cultures around the world, were a class-dominated, hierarchical civilization. People were born into their respective social statuses, and rarely there was the opportunity for one to alter their designated role in society.

Machu Picchu was one example of a large sacred settlement only accessible by the Inca high social class, or most probably by those specifically authorized by the Inca rulers.

More than 1900 meterst above sea level in the Andes Mountains, Machu Picchu was designated by the UNESCO in 1983 , as one of the new World Wonders. It is the most visited tourist destination in Peru. Considered a symbol of the Incan Empire, it was built or expanded most probably under the rule of Inca Pachacutec, around 1450 AD,

Machu Picchu is made up of more than 150 buildings ranging from baths and houses to temples and sanctuaries. Although many of the stones that were used to build the city were more than 25 kiloss heavy, as no wheels were used to transport these rocks up the mountain, it is thought that hundreds of men pushed the heavy rocks up the steep mountain side, or used those available on the site among them.

The Incas are considered as some of the best masons in the World. Close to Cusco, one of the best examples of it is the incredible temple-fortress of Sacsayhuaman.The huge and tons heavy stone structures were so well built with a technique called ashlar (stones that are cut to fit together without mortar) that in many cases not even a knife blade can fit in between stones.

Machu Picchu was only known in the World until Hiram Bingham “discovered” the site in 1911 (it was of course known by some peasants working and living on the plattforms already existing there. Machu Picchu was in such a hidden location, not knwn by others until then, remainining as one of the most well-preserved Inca cities and an archeological gem.

One of its purpose was something like an astronomical observatory, and its sacred Intihuatana stone accurately indicates the two equinoxes. Twice a year, the sun sits directly over the stone creating no shadow.

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