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History about wonder of “Machu Picchu, Peru”

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Most modern archaeologists and historians agree that Machu Picchu was built by the Inca Pachacutec, the greatest statesman of Tahuantinsuyo, who ruled from 1438 to 1471. Archaeologists assume that the construction of the citadel would date from the fifteenth century approximately chronological date given by the carbon-14 or radiocarbon.

The construction of Machu Picchu began when the Inca´s territory started to grow. According to archaeologists, in this area was fought the last battle that defined victory over the Chancas, covering prestigious victory and gave power to the Inca Pachacutec.

Inca Pachacutec was the first to emerge beyond the valley of Cusco after his epic victory over the Chancas. He conducted the Tahuantinsuyo expansion and recognized it as the “constructor” of Cusco. This was one of his greatest works.

The origin of Machu Picchu is attributed with some certainty to Pachacutec, embattled president, which was characterized by territorial conquests, and the development of religion and spirituality. From today there is archaeological studies supportting the theory gods and a challenge to the ruler to built skills.

Built as a refuge for the elite of the Incas aristocracy, the fortress was located on the eastern slopes of the Vilcanota mountain range, about 80 miles from Cusco, the capital of the empire. Its strategic location was chosen with admirable success. Surrounded by steep cliffs and away from the sight of strangers in a tangled forest, the citadel of Machu Picchu had the quality of having only one narrow entrance, allowing, in case of a surprise attack,to be defended by very few warriors.

Occupied by at least three generations of Incas, Machu Picchu was abandoned in a sudden and mysterious decision. The strongest hypothesis explain his disappearance from the historical memory because that Machu Picchu was unknown to the lower castes and their routes prohibited for anyone who was not part of the small circle of the Inca.

Part of the gains of the valley included Pachacútec Tampu, despite being inhabited by that sister nation of Cusco, did not escape his iron rule. Natural beauty, mild climate (one of the best in the Andes) and rich soil, Pachacutec noticed Tampu favorite settlement of the new imperial nobility, gracing the valley with several of the most magnificent cities Tahuantinsuyo as Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu. Site selection for lifting Machu Picchu must have been made with great care, as it was, and still is, a great place to raise a ceremonial center. It was located, according to researcher Antonio Zapata, the largest mountain by its sacredness, which begins in the Salcantay (The Apus, The Inca´s deities.

Furthermore, according to their research, the place had a quarry nearby that could provide the finest white granite stones.

July 24th, 1911 is known as the date of the “discovery” of the famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, architectural treasure that had been hidden for more than four centuries under the lush nature of the Urubamba canyon. This discovery was made by controversial anthropologist, historian or simply by the American explorer, amateur archeology, Yale University professor Hiram Bingham.

Although the discovery points to Bingham, the researcher of Cusco, Simone Waisbard said that the finding was the result of a chance, since Enrique Palma, Gabino Sánchez, and Agustín Lizarraga, were the first to visit these archaeological remains on those stones and they left their names recorded on July 14th, 1901. And also because the English archaeologist was looking in that moment at Vitco City, the last refuge of the Incas and the last point of resistance against the Spanish. So the discovery of Bingham would reduce the spread of the fact to science. However, to its main protagonist until this day was not the result of chance, but a strenuous investigation based on information supplied by peasants, as well as several years of travel and exploration in the area.

Before that Machu Picchu´s discovery is likely to be part of the estates and Kutija Qollapani. Over the years the property was known as a Q `property unit. Palma ,Sanchez and Lizarraga found the indigenous Anacleto living in the place.Alvarez, who had cultivated the land during eight years ago was leased for twelve soles annually.

meter all over the place because of its large size and, especially, by its topography as rugged and irregular. People did indeed know of Machu Picchu and even lived in it, but they had no idea of his greatness and of how


While the rediscovery of the citadel is attributed to the American historian Hiram Bingham, there are sources that indicate that Agustin Lizarraga, a tenant of Cuzco homelands came to the ruins nine years before the historian • According to Hiram Bingham, Lizarraga would have left an inscription in one of the walls of the Temple of the Three Windows. This registration would have been subsequently deleted.

Lizarraga’s story and his visits to the ancient Inca ruins have attracted the attention of Hiram Bingham, who was in the area investigating the last holdouts of the Inca´s in Vilcabamba. Bingham, very interested in these rumors, began the search for these ruins, reaching Machu Picchu in Cuzco.Lessee company Melchor Arriaga and a sergeant of the Peruvian Civil War in July 1911. There, the American historian would find two families, the Recharte and Alvarez, who had settled in the platforms of the south of the ruins. It was finally a child of the family who guided Recharte Bingham to the “urban area” of the ruins, which was covered by thick undergrowth.

Immediately, Bingham understood the enormous historical value of the ruins discovered and contacted Yale University, the National Geographic Society and the Peruvian government, requesting sponsorship to start the studies in the Inca archaeological site. The archaeological work was carried out from 1912 to 1915. In this period, they managed to clear the weeds that outrigger the Citadel and the Inca tombs were excavated being found beyond the city walls.
In 1913, National Geographic magazine published in an extensive article of Machu Picchu and the jobs that were done there, revealing to the world the citadel. With the passing of the years, the importance of tourism in the citadel of Machu Picchu would grow, first nationally and then internationally, becoming a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1983.

Machu Picchu nowadays.

Machu Picchu was designated one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007, Machu Picchu is Peru´s most visited attraction and South America’s most famous ruins, welcoming hundreds of thousands of people a year. Increasing tourism, the development of nearby towns and environmental degradation continue to take their toll on the site, which is also home to several endangered species. As a result, the Peruvian government has taken steps to protect the ruins and prevent erosion of the mountainside in recent years.

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When you think of Machu Picchu, one of the first names that comes to our minds is Hiram Bingham, but few persons know who Agustín Lizárraga is, one of the unrecognized discovers of the Sanctuary.

Machu Picchu and the new findings

Is Machu Picchu considered a Ruin?

The city of Machu Picchu conserved many of its original structures, expressed on the zones that were chosen by Pachacutec, he found a granite plateau where many people started a very expensive and ambitious project, built a citadel that would last forever.

They knew how to take advantage of the ground that sometimes was so difficult to measure and prevent earthquakes and other calamities. The use of stones like Basalt, andesite and many other kind of stones that made it so resistant for many natural disasters.

These stones were brought from a place called the Batholitic of Vilcabamba, where all the stones were cut and brought to the Sanctuary and also to build the city of Cusco when the Spanish conquer arrived to these sites.

The constructions made in Machu Picchu, correspond to a specific kind of mandate of the Pachacutec Inca, who wants to preserved the environment and the ecology. It is well known that the Incas never knew the wheel, but it is not hard to understand that in this place the wheel never worked because of the land and the inclination of the site, because many people say that how is that possible that few men could bring from a long distance huge blocks of stone already cut so perfectly that when they were put on top of each other, not even a hair could pass between them.

Every construction made in Machu Picchu has a specific function: Religious, administrative, politic and social, the two most important was the religious and the administrative, because the religious part was the everyday ritual of their life and transit over Machu Picchu, and the administrative part,was because every product must pass by the control of the guardians that kept very safe the Sanctuary and the Tambos, the storages that kept all of the products that grew in the Citadel.

Why Ruins and not Amazing work of engineering?

Machu Picchu is considered as one of the seven modern wonders of the world, because of its amazing construction, but the name ruin is not the adequate, ruin is a place where everything is about to collapse or fall down, it is not the case of Machu Picchu: Take the example of some of the sites in Europe, the Roman Forum, the Parthenon, they are ruins because the state of the construction, but for many people is not a ruin, is a sign of the greatness of the ancient world, and this ancient world is the legacy for many people.

Sincerely that the word ruin is not the accurate word to describe Machu Picchu.

The word Sanctuary describes very well the complex of Machu Picchu, because in that place many rituals and sacrifices were offered to calm and maintain happy one of the most important deities of the Tahuantinsuyo: The Sun, their father, their creator. It is not coincidence that Machu Picchu was built over high altitude, the reason is that they felt closer to the sky, and closer to their God.

The status of modern wonder has to be our pride because is our responsibility that Machu Picchu keeps the category of that, competing with the Giza Pyramids, the Petra.

The Temple and many others, The National Institute of Culture (INC) is the organization that fights to keep the Machu Picchu culture and legacy alive, showing us that this Sanctuary is one of its kind, there will not be another Machu Picchu and that must put us in the position of not destroying our national and world patrimony.

The real name of Machu Picchu: Patallaqta

Patallaqta comes from two words in Quechua, Pata which means steps, and Llaqta, which means town, this name comes from the way that the constructions were settle, initially the Machu Picchu complex is going to function to administrated the place, but its importance caught the eyes of Pachacutec, who saw that this place could be a Sanctuary and a pilgrimage place.

A Spanish Historian, Mari Carmen Rubio, said that this name comes from the chronicles written by Juan de Betanzos in the XVI century, saying that Pachacutec was buried in this Sanctuary, Here is the reason why Betanzos said that: Every Inca was buried in the Coricancha Temple (The temple of the sun) but according to Betanzos, Pachacutec was buried in Patallaqta and his rests were left in a crock pot.

But the story is not ending here, because the Incas always made 2 bundles, one was taken to the Coricancha and the other to a special place where nobody expect. Some priests could worship the rest of the body. Pachacutec was like the south American Alexander the great, a man who conquered many territories and was one of the few governors who arrived to the jungle, an unknown territory but very fertile to grow many products.

Now, the name Machu Picchu comes from the Spanish word Pico (Peak) and the word to describe a mountain is Orqo, is not its original name, it was a Spanish way to mention this place, and the name itself could have been invented in the republican time.

Federico Kauffman Doig, one of the most important Archaeologists said that Machu Picchu is the way that the people of these places in their very poor Spanish were referring to the Sanctuary. He said that the real and original name is not Patallaqta, is Llaqta Pata, because that is the correct way to pronounce it in the Quechua language.

When Hiram Bingham arrived to the city of Cusco, they told him that one of these places, where the people lived for centuries was called Llactapacta, a place near to where Bingham found Machu Picchu. According to Mari Carmen Martin, this place was never abandoned and maybe that’s why this place never lost its original name.

Llactapacta was indeed a royal house, in modern terms it could be a mansion where Pachacutec might have lived in the XV century, Llactapacta also is known as the town ¨above¨ ( Llaqta-place, Pacta-Steps or altitude).

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The Spanish Historian found in 1987,82 chapters of the Chronicle of Juan de Betanzos called Suma y Narración de los Incas, written in 1551, who relates about the organization of the Incas at that time.

Other fact is that Machu Picchu has many names used by the local natives, one of them is Vitcos, and more recently is Cajaroma, the last one comes from the Betanzos chronicle, who mentioned that this city could be the real Machu Picchu, because according to Betanzos this is one of the many cities that Pachacutec conquered when he was the governor of the Tahuantinsuyo Empire, but also this could be the land of a jungle tribe that lived when Pachacutec had the control of the entire Empire.

There are many theories about the real name of Machu Picchu but Cajaroma needs to be investigated to get a conclusion and finally know which was the real name of Machu Picchu.

The Qeschawaka Bridge, ancestral legacy

The Qeschawaka Bridge, That connects Qehue with Canas, two of the most important provinces in the Cusco department, is now an issue for its conservation and protection. The bridge crosses the Apurimac River, was an important river for the Inca people many centuries ago, its name comes from the words Qeswa, which means twisted cord, and Chaka which means bridge.

The material used for this bridge is the Ichu, a kind of grass that grows around the highland, this material is dried by the sun and then is used to make some kind of rope to built the bridge.

Every year many natives of the Cusco Communities like Chaupibanda, Qehue and Canas gather around the bridge and start an ancestral ritual called Minka, that consist in doing some community work that is going to be useful to every person who lives around the river.This kind of material is used by the locals and more effective than the stone or other kind of materials, because it´s easier to rebuilt the bridge, and also avoid disasters such as earthquakes and other calamities.

The Minka lasts 4 days and the main event was the reconstruction of the bridge, which gathered the people who lived in the nearby provinces, after that they celebrated it with dances and drinks for the people who participated of this ancient ritual.

This renovation of the bridge is considered since the year 2009 like a National Heritage, this is an example of the legacy that the Incas left to their generations, and also mentioned the effective and simple technology of the Tahuantinsuyo people.

Why is it important to maintain the tradition alive?

memory a city could not see what its legacy is, and what is worse, they can’t see what its future is. The tradition, the rituals are a huge part of who we are and recreates our past to keep in touch with our ancestors and see where are we from.

Recreating the construction of the bridge is important because it keeps the people together and the relationships between them are closer with the pass of time. Women, men and children work for their community, they built the bridge as many times as they need it.

The Minka is practiced since Inca times, it’s one of the precepts in the moral and ethics that the Incas had, their phrases don’t be a thief, don’t be a liar, don’t be lazy is one of the codes more used in the Andes. The Incas were a culture with so much support between each other, no one is selfish, and everybody contributes to the improvement of each citizen.

Pachacutec, Lord of the Tahuantinsuyo Empire

It all starts with a single person, who transforms the entire Tahuantinsuyo Territory, with his bravery and strength he began to create one of the most important Empires in the History of the world, this person is Pachacutec, The Inca Emperor.

Machu Picchu, the untold story

Two persons, one History in common: being recognized as the first who visited the Sanctuary, one is a local native, who always knew about the place, the other an North American adventurer that with a little luck and good contacts was able to show the entire humanity one of the most beautiful sanctuaries in the History. But behind that there are a lot of things that you must know, Machu Picchu, The untold Story an encounter with 2 persons with one thing in common: Remain as the original discoverers of this great place.

The Ayar Brothers legend

Many of the stories that an ancient town tells us, is about power, big decisions and fantastic habilities, The Ayar Brothers Legend tells us how Manco Capac remained as the supreme chief of all the Inca Empire.

The Legend of Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo

Is the classic story: Two persons, a man and a woman, a supreme entity that sent them to populate one big territory,The Legend of Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo narrates the story of an ancient group, the founders of one of the most powerful and organized cultures: The Incas and their Empire the Tahuantinsuyo.

Religious significance in Machu Picchu

The Sanctuary is full of cosmic and universal symbolism, but one of the most important aspects is their religious significance in Machu Picchu, with several and particular ways of understanding the universe that Machu Picchu is.

First American expedition

Bingham was a lecturer at Yale University, although not a trained archaeologist. In 1909, returning from the Pan-American Scientific Congress in Santiago, he traveled through Peru and was invited to explore the Inca ruins at Choqquequirau in the Apurímac Valley. He organized the 1911 Yale Peruvian Expedition in part to search for the Inca capital, which was thought to be the city of Vitcos . He consulted Carlos Romero, a historian in Lima who showed him helpful references and Father Calancha’s Chronicle.

Hiram Bingham III at his tent door near Machu Picchu in 1912

Armed with this information the expedition went down the Urubamba River. En route Bingham asked local people to show them Inca ruins. By the time they camped at Mandor Pampa, with Huayna Picchu 2000 feet above them on the opposite bank, they had already examined several ruins, but none fit the descriptions of Vitcos.

At Mandor Pampa, Bingham asked farmer and innkeeper Melchor Arteaga if he knew of any nearby ruins. Arteaga said he knew of excellent ruins on the top of Huayna Picchu. The next day, 24 July, Arteaga led Bingham and Sergeant Carrasco across the river on a log bridge and up the Huayna Picchu mountain. At the top of the mountain they came across a small hut occupied by a couple of Quechua, Richarte and Alvarez, who were farming some of the original Machu Picchu agricultural terraces that they had cleared four years earlier. Alvarez’s 11-year-old son, Pablito, led Bingham along the ridge to the main ruins.

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The ruins were mostly covered with vegetation except for the cleared agricultural terraces and clearings used by the farmers as vegetable gardens. Because of the vegetation Bingham was not able to observe the full extent of the site. He took preliminary notes, measurements and photographs, noting the fine quality of Inca stonework of several principal buildings. Bingham was unclear about the original purpose of the ruins, but decided that there was no indication that it matched the description of Vitcos.

The expedition continued down the Urubamba and up the Vilcabamba Rivers examining all the ruins they could find. Guided by locals Bingham rediscovered and correctly identified the site of the old Inca capital, Vitcos (then called Rosaspata), and the nearby temple of Chuquipalta. He then crossed a pass and into the Pampaconas Valley where he found more ruins heavily buried in the jungle undergrowth at Espíritu Pampa, which he named “Eromboni Pampa”.[18] As was the case with Machu Picchu, the site was so heavily overgrown that Bingham could only note a few of the buildings. In 1964, Gene Savoy further explored the ruins at Espiritu Pampa and revealed the full extent of the site, identifying it as Vilcabamba Viejo where the Incas fled after the Spanish drove them from Vitcos.

On the return of the expedition up the Urubamba River, Bingham sent two men to clear and map the site he referred to as Machu Picchu. As Bingham failed to identify the ruins at Espiritu Pampa as Vilcabamba Viejo, he erroneously theorized that Machu Picchu was Vilcabamba Viejo. Machu Picchu features spectacular workmanship and a dramatic site, while Vilcabamba was built while the short-lived remnant Neo-Inca State was being vanquished by the Spanish; it was built quickly and features crude workmanship.

Bingham returned to Machu Picchu in 1912 under the sponsorship of Yale University and National Geographic and with full support of Peruvian President Leguia. The expedition undertook a four-month clearing of the site with local labor, which was expedited with the support of the Prefect of Cuzco. Excavation started in 1912 with further excavation undertaken in 1914 and 1915. Bingham focused on Machu Picchu because of its fine Inca stonework and well-preserved nature, which had lain undisturbed since the site was abandoned. None of Bingham’s several hypotheses explaining the site held up. During his studies, he carried various artifacts back to Yale. One prominent artifact was a set of 15th-century, ceremonial Incan knives made from bismuth bronze; they are the earliest known artifact containing this alloy.

Although local institutions initially welcomed the exploration, they soon accused Bingham of legal and cultural malpractice.Rumors arose that the team was stealing artifacts and smuggling them out of Peru through Bolivia. (In fact, Bingham removed many artifacts, but openly and legally; they were deposited in the Yale University Museum.) Local press perpetuated the accusations, claiming that the excavation harmed the site and deprived local archaeologists of knowledge about their own history.Landowners began to demand rent from the excavators. By the time Bingham and his team left Machu Picchu, locals had formed coalitions to defend their ownership of Machu Picchu and its cultural remains, while Bingham claimed the artifacts ought to be studied by experts in American institutions.

Human sacrifice and mysticism

Little information describes human sacrifices at Machu Picchu, though many sacrifices were never given a proper burial, and their skeletal remains succumbed to the elements. However, there is evidence that retainers were sacrificed to accompany a deceased noble in the afterlife.,119 Animal, liquid and dirt sacrifices to the gods were much more common, made at the Altar of the Condor. The tradition is upheld by members of the New Age Andean religion


Map of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu lies in the southern hemisphere, 13.164 degrees south of the equator. It is 80 kilometres (50 miles) northwest of Cusco, on the crest of the mountain Machu Picchu, located about 2,430 metres (7,970 feet) above mean sea level, over 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) lower than Cusco, which has an elevation of 3,600 metres (11,800 ft). As such, it had a milder climate than the Inca capital. It is one of the most important archaeological sites in South America, one of the most visited tourist attractions in Latin America and the most visited in Peru.

Machu Picchu has wet and dry seasons, with the majority of annual rain falling from October through to April.

Machu Picchu is situated above a bow of the Urubamba River, which surrounds the site on three sides, where cliffs drop vertically for 450 metres (1,480 ft) to the river at their base. The area is subject to morning mists rising from the river.The location of the city was a military secret, and its deep precipices and steep mountains provided natural defenses. The Inca Bridge, an Inca grass rope bridge, across the Urubamba River in the Pongo de Mainique, provided a secret entrance for the Inca army. Another Inca bridge was built to the west of Machu Picchu, the tree-trunk bridge, at a location where a gap occurs in the cliff that measures 6 metres (20 ft). It could be bridged by two tree trunks, but with the trees removed, there was a 570 metres (1,870 ft) fall to the base of the cliffs.

The city sits in a saddle between the two mountains Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu, with a commanding view down two valleys and a nearly impassable mountain at its back. It has a water supply from springs that cannot be blocked easily, and enough land to grow food for about four times as many people as ever lived there. The hillsides leading to it were terraced,to provide more farmland to grow crops, and to steepen the slopes that invaders would have to ascend. The terraces reduced soil erosion and protected against landslides. Two high-altitude routes from Machu Picchu cross the mountains back to Cusco, one through the Sun Gate, and the other across the Inca bridge. Both could be blocked easily, should invaders approach along them.




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  1. Sanjuanita Cordier

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