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Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a fortress and plantation built by the Incas in 1450 by order of Emperor Pachacuti who ruled 1438-1471 over the Sacred Valley on a 2,430 meter (7,970 ft) mountain ridge in Machupicchu District, Urubamba Province, Cuzco Region, Peru, and became the spectacular and best known Inca civilization.

The Incas built Machu Picchu, but left it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest and hitherto unknown what happened and unknown during the colonial period until the historian of Yale University Hiram Bingham brought it to international attention in 1911.

Xvlor Machu Picchu is Inca estate built by Emperor Pachacuti in 1450 Machu Picchu is Inca estate built by Emperor Pachacuti in 1450

Machu Picchu is built in the classic Inca style where the dry stone walls are polished. The three main structures are Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. Thirty percent of the ruins were restored in 1976 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

Everyday life

The construction took place during the period of two great Inca rulers was Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui (1438-71) and Túpac Inca Yupanqui (1472-93). Machu Picchu was only used for about 80 years before it was abandoned during the Spanish Conquest in another part of the Inca Empire. Another possibility is that most residents die from smallpox before the Spanish arrive.

The royal estate is estimated to employ no more than 750 people at a time, including clerics and temporary specialized workers. During the harsher seasons, the staff went down to about a hundred people and some religious specialists focused solely on maintenance.

The skeletal remains of people living there are immigrants from coastal areas in diverse backgrounds. The bones are also unique at the rate of natural bone damage due to exhausting activity, but the rate of arthritis and fractures is lower than in most Inca Empire sites. Inca people who have rheumatism and fractures are usually the result of heavy physical labor or military personnel.

Some animal bones are not the original site. These animals naturally live at an altitude of 14000 and not 8000 feet in Machu Picchu. Most likely brought from the Puna area for meat and feathers. Guinea pigs and six dogs were also found at common burial sites of humans in burial rituals in the Inca Empire.


Most of the farming is done in hundreds of terraces and built to ensure drainage and soil fertility while protecting the mountain by erosion and landslides. However, the terrace is not perfect where many landslides during development. The terraces are shifted by landslides and then stabilized as they continue to build the surrounding area.

Researchers estimate rainfall above 72 inches annually since 1450 which is sufficient to support plant growth there and irrigation is not needed where the terrace receives so much rain and drainage causes extra water. The patio was built in layers with a large layer of cobblestone covered by loose pebbles. On top of gravel is a layer of sand.

However, the terrace farm area only consists of about 12 hectares and most are corn and potatoes that are not enough to support 750 people living in Machu Picchu. Research shows most Inca food in Machu Picchu is imported from the surrounding valley.


The Spaniards never found Machu Picchu and therefore did not plunder or destroy it as it did in many other places, though only 80 kilometers (50 mi) from Cusco. Over the centuries, the surrounding forests are protecting this site.

Yale University historian and explorer Hiram Bingham toured the Inca capital and was taken to Machu Picchu by a local farmer. In 1911, Bingham organized another expedition in 1912-1915 to undertake large cleansing and digging.

The Peruvian government declared an area of 325.92 sq kilometers (125.84 sq mi) as the "Historic Site" in 1981 that includes the pervasive Machu Picchu surrounds of flora and fauna in Yangguna and Andean. UNESCO appointed Machu Picchu as a World Heritage Site as "an absolute masterpiece of architecture and a unique testimony to the Inca civilization" in 1983.

Defense strategy

Machu Picchu at the top of Mount Machu Picchu at 2,430 meters (7,970 ft) and has a milder climate than Cusco which has 3,600 meters (11,800 ft). The site sits on top of an Urubamba River bow which surrounds a location on three sides, where a vertical cliff is 450 meters (1,480 ft) high.

Canyons and steep mountains provide a natural defense. A secret door for the Incan soldiers through a grass rope bridge to cross the Urubamba River in Pongo de Mainique. Another bridge was built west of Machu Picchu using a log tree where a crack in the cliff 6 meters (20 feet) wide on a 570 meter (1.870 feet) valley floor.

The city is in a saddle between two mountains of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu, having springs that can not be blocked easily. The multilevel hills provide farmland, the terrace reduces soil erosion and landslides. The other two routes cross the mountains to Cusco which can be easily blocked.

Urban planning

The site is roughly divided into urban and agricultural sectors, then the upper and lower cities, the temples are in the upper town, the warehouse at the bottom. About 200 buildings are arranged on parallel terraces in the east-west center. Sophisticated irrigation systems and stone staircases on the walls allow access to different levels throughout the site.

The eastern part may be housing and the western part is a rite of religious and ceremonial destinations. Torreon is a great tower as an observatory, Intihuatana is the Temple of the Sun and Space Three Window dedicated to the sun god. The dwelling district is a place for lower class people in modest homes.

The noble area is a cluster of houses located on the slopes and the zone has a trapezoid-shaped room. Monumental Mausoleum is a carved statue with interior images and vaulted engravings for ceremony or sacrifice. The Guardhouse is a three-sided building where one of the long sides opens onto the Terrace of the Ceremonial Rock. Machu Picchu is Inca estate built by Emperor Pachacuti in 1450

Xvlor Machu Picchu is Inca estate built by Emperor Pachacuti in 1450

Location: Machupicchu District, Urubamba Province, Cuzco Region

Routes and public transport: Flights to Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco City.

Advice: Authorities have been struggling to keep tourism safe. The deaths of tourists have been attributed to high altitude, flood and hiking accidents. The location is very dangerous given the high risk of landslides, earthquakes and rotten buildings. This site is limited to 2,500 visitors every day.

Disposable plastic bottles, walking sticks and backpacks above 20 liters are not allowed in. Do not step on one wall, all the ruins are fragile buildings!

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