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Machu Picchu (IPA pronunciation: ['mɑ.tʃu 'pik.tʃu][1]) (Quechua: Machu Piqchu Old Peak; sometimes called the "Lost City") is a pre-Columbian city created by the Inca. It is located at 2,430 m (7,970 ft)[2] on a mountain ridge. Machu Picchu is located above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, about 70 km (44 mi) northwest of Cusco. Forgotten for centuries by the outside world, although not by locals, it was brought back to international attention by archaeologist Hiram Bingham who rediscovered it in 1911, and wrote a best-selling work about it. Peru is pursuing legal efforts to retrieve thousands of artifacts that Bingham removed from the site.[3]









Machu Picchu is probably the most familiar symbol of the Inca Empire. Often referred to as "The Lost City of the Incas", since 1983 the site has been designated as a United Nations Educational World Heritage Site.

Machu Picchu was constructed around 1450, at the height of the Inca empire, and was abandoned less than 100 years later, as the empire collapsed under Spanish conquest. Although the citadel is located only about 50 miles from Cusco, the Inca capital, it was never found and destroyed by the Spanish, as were many other Inca sites. Over the centuries, the surrounding jungle grew to enshroud the site, and few knew of its existence. It wasn’t until 1911 that Yale historian and explorer Hiram Bingham brought the “lost” city to the world’s attention. Bingham and others hypothesized that the citadel was the traditional birthplace of the Inca people or the spiritual center of the “virgins of the sun,” while curators of a recent exhibit have speculated that Machu Picchu was a royal retreat. Regardless, the presence of numerous temples and ritual structures proves that Machu Picchu held spiritual significance for the Inca.

It is thought that the site was chosen for its unique location and geological features. It is said that the silhouette of the mountain range behind Machu Picchu represents the face of the Inca looking upward towards the sky, with the largest peak, Huayna Picchu (meaning Young Peak), representing his pierced nose. In 1913, the site received significant publicity after the National Geographic Society devoted their entire April issue to Machu Picchu.

The Intihuatana ("tie the sun") is believed to have been designed as an astronomic clock by the Incas





Location

Machu Picchu is 70 kilometers northwest of Cusco, on the crest of the mountain Machu Picchu, located about 2,350 meters above sea level. It is one of the most important archaeological centers in South America and the most visited tourist attraction in Peru.



From the top, at the cliff of Machu Picchu, is a vertical precipice of 600 meters ending at the foot of the Urubamba River. The location of the city was a military secret because its deep precipices and mountains were an excellent natural defense.

Machu Picchu sanctuary

In 1981 an area of 325.92 square kilometres surrounding Machu Picchu was declared a "Historical Sanctuary" of Peru. This area, which is not only limited to the ruins themselves, also includes the regional landscape with its flora and fauna, highlighting the abundance of orchids.

One theory maintains that Machu Picchu was an Incan "llacta": a settlement built up to control the economy of the conquered regions and that it may have been built with the purpose of protecting the most select of the Incan aristocracy in the event of an attack. Based on research conducted by scholars such as John Rowe and Richard Burger, most archaeologists now believe that, rather than a defensive retreat, Machu Picchu was an estate of the Inca emperor Pachacuti. Johan Reinhard presents evidence that the site was selected based on its position relative to sacred landscape features, especially mountains that are in alignment with key astronomical events.

Three sectors

According to the archaeologists, the urban sector of Machu Picchu was divided into three great districts: the Sacred District, the Popular District, to the south, and the District of the Priests and the Nobility (royalty zone).

Located in the first zone are the primary archaeological treasures: the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun and the Room of the Three Windows. These were dedicated to Inti, their sun god and greatest deity. The Popular District, or Residential District, is the place where the lower class people lived. It includes storage buildings and simple houses to live in.

In the royalty area, a sector existed for the nobility: a group of houses located in rows over a slope; the residence of the Amautas (wise persons) was characterized by its reddish walls, and the zone of the Ñustas (princesses) had trapezoid-shaped rooms. The Monumental Mausoleum is a carved statue with a vaulted interior and carved drawings. It was used for rites or sacrifices.



Architecture

All of the construction in Machu Picchu uses the classic Inca architectural style of polished dry-stone walls of regular shape. The Incas were masters of this technique, called ashlar, in which blocks of stone are cut to fit together tightly without mortar. Many junctions are so perfect that not even a knife fits between the stones.

The Incas never used the wheel in any practical manner. How they moved and placed enormous blocks of stones is a mystery, although the general belief is that they used hundreds of men to push the stones up inclined planes. It is unknown if the Incas left behind any documentation about that process because the writing they employed, called khipus, has not been translated.[4]

The space is composed of 140 constructions including temples, sanctuaries, parks and residences, houses with thatched roofs.

There are more than one hundred flights of stone steps – often completely carved in a single block of granite – and a great number of water fountains, interconnected by channels and water-drainages perforated in the rock, designed for the original irrigation system. Evidence has been found to suggest that the irrigation system was used to carry water from a holy spring, to each of the houses in turn, the order being dictated by the perceived holiness of the inhabitants.



Rediscovery

On July 24, 1911, Machu Picchu was brought to the attention of the West by Hiram Bingham] III, an American historian then employed as a lecturer at Yale University. He was led there by locals who frequented the site. This explorer/archaeologist began the archaeological studies there and completed a survey of the area. Bingham coined the name "The Lost City of the Incas", which was the title of his first book.

Bingham had been searching for the city of Vitcos, the last Inca refuge and spot of resistance during the Spanish conquest of Peru. In 1911, after various years of previous trips and explorations around the zone, he was led to the citadel by Quechuans who were living in Machu Picchu in the original Inca infrastructure. Bingham made several more trips and conducted excavations on the site through 1915. He wrote a number of books and articles about the discovery of Machu Picchu.

During the early years in Peru, Bingham built strong relationships with top Peruvian officials. As a result, he had little trouble obtaining necessary permission, paperwork, and permits to travel throughout the country and borrow archeological artifacts. Upon returning to Yale University, Bingham had collected around 5,000 such objects to be kept in Yale's care until such time as the Peruvian government requested their return. Recently, the Peruvian government requested the return of all cultural material, and at the refusal of Yale University to do so, began to consider legal action. With the oncoming change of government administrations in Peru, this action may be delayed for some time.[5]

Simone Waisbard, a long-time researcher of Cusco, claims Enrique Palma, Gabino Sánchez and Agustín Lizárraga left their names engraved on one of the rocks there on July 14, 1901, having re-discovered it before Bingham. Likewise, in 1904 an engineer named Franklin spotted the ruins from a distant mountain. He told Thomas Paine, an English Plymouth Brethren Christian missionary living in the region, about the site. In 1906, Paine and another Brethren missionary named Stuart E McNairn (1867-1956) climbed up to the ruins. Five years later, in 1911, Paine talked with Bingham and outfitted him with guides and mules for journey to the site. Bingham never gave any byline of credit to Paine or the locals who led him to Machu Picchu, mentioning only "local rumour" as his guide.

What makes Bingham the rediscoverer of Machu Picchu is not his being the first person to visit the site since the Incas had abandoned it (because the local Quechua had done this for years), but the fact that he was the one who brought Machu Picchu to the world's attention. As Daniel Boorstin noted in his book "The Discoverers", the Vikings were probably the first European settlers in America, but Christopher Columbus was the "discoverer" of America since he (and not his ship crew, nor the Vikings, nor the native inhabitants of America) was the one who wrote about it and changed people's view of the world. Likewise, Bingham's work brought Machu Picchu to the world's attention and thus "rediscovered" the place.



Visiting Machu Picchu

All visits to Machu Picchu at some point leave from Cusco, which can be reached via a domestic flight from Lima.















Thank you for watching :)
 

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¡Viva el metro!
DavoR
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10/10
:drool::drool:
 

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the greatest archaeological site in the western hemisphere.................basically a 10 wouldn't be enough for this wonderful place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Can someone or a moderator add the poll to this thread please? i just could not edit and add the poll, please some one, thank you very :)
 

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"Machu Picchu was constructed around 1450, at the height of the Inca empire, and was abandoned less than 100 years later, as the empire collapsed under Spanish conquest. "


yes impressive site and scenery, but it doesn't belong to the Ancient Times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
^^

Ok Where it should go?, can somebody tell me how i can add the poll to this thread?

Thanks for your coments :)
 

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Anty love
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Anty love

Amazing :master: :master: :eek2: 10
 

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Dando um tempo.
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10/10
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Going to Wayna Pichu, that is the top of the mountain



View from wayna picchu, and machu picchu down




 

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Biases categories?

"Machu Picchu was constructed around 1450, at the height of the Inca empire, and was abandoned less than 100 years later, as the empire collapsed under Spanish conquest. "

yes impressive site and scenery, but it doesn't belong to the Ancient Times.
The problem is, the categories have a European bias, and don't really fit the "New World." However it is categorized, Machu Picchu is incomparable. 10
 
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