Machu Picchu

Wonder of the World

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu. Gina Carey


At an altitude of about 8000 feet, Machu Picchu, now one of the 7 wonders of the world, is a small city in the Andes, about 44 miles northwest of Cuzco and about 3000 feet above the Urubamba Valley. Inca ruler Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui (or Sapa Inca Pachacuti) built Machu Picchu in the mid-15th century. It appears to have been a sacred, ceremonial city and an astronomical observatory. The largest peak in Machu Picchu, called Huayna Picchu, is known as "hitching post of the sun."

Most of the roughly 150 buildings in Machu Picchu were built of granite so their ruins look like part of the mountains. The Inca made regular blocks of granite fit so tightly together (without mortar) that there are areas where a knife cannot fit between the stones. Many buildings had trapezoidal doors and thatched roofs. They used irrigation to grow corn and potatoes. Smallpox devastated the Machu Picchu before the conqueror of the Inca, the Spaniard Francisco Pizarro, arrived. Yale archaeologist Hiram Bingham discovered the ruins of the city in 1911. Sources: Archaeology Guide - Machu Picchu
[formerly at <> Machu Pichu]
Sacred Site's Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu - Wikipedia

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