Machupicchu the seventh wonder of the world
Machu Picchu is the emblematic monument par excellence of Peru. It was re-discovered in 1911 by the American archaeologist Hiram Bingham (the first person to discover Machu Picchu was Agustín Lizárraga from Cuzco on July 14, 1902), and it is one of the most imposing and impressive monumental complexes on the planet. Hidden between the cliffs and the lush vegetation of the jungle, the ancient city of Machu Picchu remained secret until the 19th century, and not even the Spanish conquerors, in their search for treasures, were able to find it.
Machu Picchu was quiet, uninhabited and silent among the mists of the Peruvian mountains with its secrets hidden since it was abandoned before the conquest.
Since its discovery in 1911 to date, the Inca citadel was always called Machu Picchu, which means Old Mountain, however, recent studies indicate that this would not be the real name by which Machu Picchu was known in Inca times.
According to the Spanish historian, Mari Carmen Martin Rubio, and based on a text located in chapter XXXII of the Sum and narration of the Incas, chronicle of Juan de Betanzos, Machu Picchu would have been called Patallaqta, which means the City Step or City of the staircase, a qualification that is more in line with the construction of the Inca citadel due to the large platforms built to gain ground from the mountains …
Other historians say that in its beginnings it was simply called Picchu. Machu Picchu stretches between the peaks Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu some 700 m above the valley and is suspended between the high peaks of the Peruvian Andes. According to many archaeologists Machu Picchu was built between 1450 and 1460 by Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui.
He would have used the city as a royal residence and a place of religious retreat. It was built at about 8000 feet above sea level and consists of about 200 buildings. An estimated 1000 people lived in Machu Picchu, most of them women, children and priests.
The enigma of Machu Picchu, especially those questions related to its construction, has led many to suggest that the builders of Machu Picchu had knowledge that is now hidden or forgotten, but that in those times it served them to make such an architectural wonder …
When Inti, the Sun god of the Incas, appears between the mountains, it shows an incredible citadel armed as a puzzle of embedded pieces, semi-circular temples, granite walls, palaces, houses and stairways, channels, fountains and cultivation terraces on different levels , a masterpiece of planning and building in an entire city built by a civilization that supposedly did not know the wheel or have pack animals.
How could they move those huge blocks of stone and how could they carve them so finely?
The polygonal architecture is typical of the late stage of the Inca culture. The buildings are constructed of granite blocks, presumably cut with stone or metal tools and sand-polished, and they fit together perfectly without the need for mortar. No block is the same size and some have up to 32 angles.
Archaeologists have divided Picchu into 2 large sectors: agricultural sector and urban sector. In turn, the urban sector is divided into 3 sectors: (1) Sacred Quarter, includes the Intiwatana, the Temple of the Sun, the main temple and the Temple of the Three Windows; (2) District of the Priests and the Nobility (residential area); (3) Barrio Popular, the southern part of the city, where the houses of the common population are located. Although none of the buildings is notably superior to the others.
The Sun is the divine ancestor of the Incas because of the heat and light that provided life and crops. In the Temple of the Sun, it is presumed that the sacred ceremonies were carried out, highlighting that of the June solstice, in honor of the God Inti (Sun).
The tower is a wonderful finely crafted construction, it is assumed that its walls were inlaid with precious stones that at some point were looted. Below is a kind of mausoleum that is believed to have been where the mummy of the Inca Wiracocha was possibly.
Machu Picchu can also be known as the city of platforms, stairways and water sources. Of the former, you can count more than one hundred, some of which have a hundred steps or more. In some cases the staircase of eight or ten steps has been sculpted entirely from a single block of granite rock.
Ponds and water sources called «pacchas» abound throughout the Picchu area, carved in stone and interconnected by channels and drains drilled into the rock.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Machu Picchu is that the city is perfectly integrated into the nature that surrounds it. The temples that seem to come directly from the mountain, the altars carved into the rock and the terraces that the inhabitants used to cultivate potatoes and corn illustrate the extent to which the Inca architects knew how to adapt to their environment.
The Intiwatana or «place where the sun is tied» … This stone is the centerpiece and most important of a complex system of astronomical measurements to determine the start and end dates of agricultural seasons. But was it really a sundial or is it something else? … Does Machu Picchu hide something else?
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