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Machu Picchu, the city above everything. Machu Picchu or Machu Pikchu is an Inca archaeological site located in Peru, in the Urubamba Valley, about 2,430 meters above sea level. The name comes from Quechua, Machu (old) and Pichu (top or mountain).
It is part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
In 2003, more than 400,000 people visited the ruins, and UNESCO has expressed concern about the environmental damage that such a volume of tourists can come to the site. The Peruvian authorities, which obviously derive considerable economic benefits from tourism, argue that there is no problem and that the extreme isolation of the Urubamba valley alone is sufficient to limit the flow of tourism.
Periodically, a cable car is being built to reach the city from the bottom, but so far the proposal has not passed. The resort is now universally known for its imposing and original ruins, as well as for the impressive view of the underlying valley of Urubamba about 400 meters further down. In 2007 Machu Picchu was elected as one of the 7 wonders of the modern world.
Machu Picchu has located at 13 ° 9 ’47 “south latitude and 72 ° 32′ 44” West longitude. Form part of the homonymous district, in the province of Urubamba, Cuzco region, Peru. The nearest major city is Cuzco, the current capital of the region and the ancient Inca capital, 130 km.
The Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Mountains belong to a large orographic formation known as Batolito of Vilcabamba, in the Central Cordillera of the Peruvian Andes. They are located on the left bank of the so-called Uububba Canyon, formerly known as Picchu’s gorge. At the foot of the heights, practically cradling, flows the Vilcanota-Urubamba River. Inca ruins are halfway between the summits of the two mountains, at 450 meters altitude on the valley floor and 2,438 on the sea. The building area is approximately 530 meters long and 200 meters wide, counting 172 buildings in the urban area. The proper ruins are located within an intangible area of the National System of State Protected Areas (SINANPE, Sistema Nacional de Área Naturales Protegidas por el Estado), called the Historic Shrine of Machu Picchu, which extends over a surface Of 325.92 km² of the Vilcanota-Urubamba basin (the Willka mayu or “holy river” inca). The historic Sanctuary houses and protects a number of endangered biological species and various incaical sites, among which Machu Picchu is considered the main one.
The city was supposed to have been built by the Emperor Inca Pachacútec around 1440 and remained inhabited until the Spanish conquest of 1532. The city’s position was a well-guarded military secret, as the deep cliffs surrounding it were the It’s best natural defense. In fact, once abandoned, his location remained unknown for four centuries, entering the legend.
Archaeological discoveries, combined with recent studies on colonial documents, show that it was not a normal city, but rather a kind of summer residence for the Emperor and the Inca nobility.
It was estimated that no more than 750 people could stay at Machu Picchu and probably during the rainy season or when there were noble, the number was still smaller. The city was rediscovered on July 24, 1911, by Hiram Bingham, a Yale historian, who was exploring the old inca streets of the area in search of the latest Inca capital: Vilcabamba. Bingham made several other trips and excavated until 1915 and only later realized the importance of his discovery and realized that Machu Picchu was what he called Vilcabamba. Returning to his research, he wrote several articles and books on Machu Picchu: the most known was The Inca Lost City. Paradoxically, Vilcabamba was not Machu Picchu: the last capital was in Espíritu Pampa: hidden in the jungle, a few hundred yards from where he had arrived during his research.
In 2008 a number of documents discovered in American and Peruvian archives by some international scholars, including American historian Paolo Greer, reveal that German Augusto Berns discovered Machu Picchu in the second half of the 19th century and formed a society to exploit its riches.
Berns discovered the site in 1867, 44 years before American explorer Hiram Bingham revealed it to the Western world. Greer and her colleagues are now pointing to finding lost treasures, many of which could have ended up in private collections. The stones of the most important buildings of the entire Inca Empire were erected without the use of mortar. The stones have been cut so precisely and wedged so closely together, that it is not possible to insert between them a sheet of paper. In addition to the obvious aesthetic advantages, this style of construction has significant engineering advantages. Peru is a highly seismic country and Machu Picchu was built on the top of two lines of failure. When an earthquake occurs, experts say that the stones of the Inca buildings “dance”! That is, they bounce by following the earthquake movement and then fall back. If the Inca did not use this method of construction, Machu Picchu would collapse long ago. Although Inca is especially reminded of the architectural beauty of their buildings, their civil engineering projects are so advanced that they leave confused contemporary scholars. Especially if we consider the fact that we are dealing with a culture that does not use shooting animals, iron or wheel gears. The site we see today was created in a space between two small mountain peaks, requiring the movement of stones and earth to create a sufficiently flat area. Engineer Kenneth Wright estimated that 60% of Machu Picchiu’s buildings are underground. Much of the structure consists of deep foundations and crushed stone used as drainage. Anyone who has visited Machu Picchu in the rainy season can testify that the Inca city is subject to heavy rainfall. Yet, no one ever saw a flood. An alien base? Could the city of Machu Picchu be an alien base? There are theories of Ufologists who argue that the construction of the city is the Incas population and could be extraterrestrial because the point where the city was built is impervious and difficult to reach except by air, transport of Heavy and bulky stones necessary for the construction of the city’s premises was very difficult, too difficult for a population who did not know the use of the wheel, stones were polished with techniques that could not be known by the population of the time.
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