Ancient Machu Picchu by:Thomas Carroll
In 1911 Hiram Bingham of Yale University rediscovered ancient Machu Picchu buried under four centuries of lush vegetation
. Machu Picchu is located at almost 8,000 feet high in the Andes mountains outside of Cuzco, Peru and just above the town Aguas Calientes. Machu Picchu is full of mystery as no one knows exactly how it was built or why.
Scholars claim that Machu Picchu was built around the year 1450 AD. The style of building found at Machu Picchu in Peru hints at it being constructed in the "late Imperial Inca" period, during the reign of Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui (or Pachacutec). According to some theories, Machu Picchu existed as an administrative center of control for conquered regions and as a military stronghold. Some believe that ancient Machu Picchu was a ceremonial center, in the heart of high spiritual and earthly energy. The exact purpose of ancient Machu Picchu is open to debate.
Machu Picchu is an architectural marvel. There is no better example of successful ancient civil engineering than Machu Picchu. The huge stones that make up the site are perfectly cut and fit together remarkably well. This superb engineering is defiantly resistant to earthquakes. The builders of Machu Picchu are considered to be one of the best stonemasters in history. They not only used dry stone building techniques for the structures, but for agricultural terraces as well. They did so with large stones over rugged, mountainous terrain and without the use of wheel technology.
Machu Picchu's Temple of the Sun was dedicated to the Sun God Inti and is the site's finest example of Inca stonework. Machu Picchu has 16 fountains that were designed to provide water to the residents, irrigate their crop and to show Pachacuti's manifestation of power.
For unknown reason the Incas completely abandoned Machu Picchu after only about 100 years. The Spanish never discovered ancient Machu Picchu, being busy with wars throughout other areas of the Inca Empire. Because the Spanish did not know about Machu Picchu, some people believe that not many Incas knew about it either. It was Inca custom to build royal retreats when Inca rulers died, so perhaps Machu Picchu was built upon the death of Pachacuti and then forgotten. Until Bingham's visit, Machu Picchu was inhabited by a small group of Quechans who found the site after Inca abandonment.
To this day scientists, engineers and travelers continue to be fascinated by the wonders of Machu Picchu. There is a feeling of peace, spiritual energy and mystery for many visitors. Breathtaking Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Hundreds of tourists walk the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu everyday where they may appreciate a beautiful mystery of the lost Inca Empire.
About the author
Thomas Carroll was born in California and now lives in Lima, Peru. If you would like more information about Ancient Machu Picchu and Peru Vacation Packages then be sure to visit his blog.http://www.peru-vacation-packages.com
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