The Architecture of Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu was built around 1460-1470 A.D. by Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui.
Location of Machu Picchu: Machu Picchu is located between two mountains, Machu Picchu which translates to Old Peak and Hoaynawhich translates to New Peak. Machu Picchu over looks the Urabumba River Canyon. Machu Picchu is located about forty-three mile northwest of Cuzco, the capital if the Inca Civilization.
|Machu Picchu's location in Peru and|
About the Inca Civilization: Machu Picchu was built by Pachacuti the Sapa Inca or the ruler of all the Incas. When Pachacuti named himself Sapa Inca he drank out of the skull of a defeated Chanca leader. Pachacuti conquered an area of Peru and six other countries. As the civilization grew it was harder for information to travel. To solve this problem the Incas built a 15,000 mile road called the Inca trail. Men called Chaskis were fast runners, they delivered messages to other members of the tribe. A Chaskis could run 250 miles in a day when running at full speed.
The Sapa Inca's palaces were built around a court yard. Women called Sun Virgins would stand by one side of the palace walls. The Sun Virgins were taught about the Inca beliefs, the Sun virgins would then go to many festivals in Cuzco and the Sapa Inca would decide their future.
Religious beliefs and Gods: The sun was a very important part of the Inca beliefs. Inti the sun god was often prayed to for water, a good crop, and good weather. Inti was thought to be the first father of the first Manco Capac. the Inca's built the Infihuatana stone, which means hitching post of the sun. The Infihuatana stone was a large column of stone set on top of a large square stone. Every winter the Inca's would have a ceremony in Machu Picchu to tie the sun. It is believed that if a sensitive person touches their forehead to the stone they could see the spirit world. The Sun Mask was also part of the Inca religion. The mask was hung in a temple or in the Sapa Inca's palace. "It was believed that the emperor descended from Inti. He was served by many priests and priestesses. White llamas were sacrificed to him".
The mountains were also worshiped. In Machu Picchu there is a stone that is facing a mountain. The stone is carved to the exact shape of the mountain. People today still go and pray to the gods of the Incas.
Governing and Tax collecting: The Inca's had a mathematical way of collecting taxes. They used a Khipus. A Khipus is twin threads tied to another longer piece of twin. Knots were tied in the twin to resemble different things. The Sapa Inca could tell how many worriers he had or how well the crop was doing or how much livestock was in the Incas hands. The Kuraka or the local leader decided if each household was meeting the demands of the Inca tax collector. If the household couldn't meet the demands they had to work for the Sapa Inca. Some of the jobs were farming, settling new territory, and weavers. The Sapa Inca governed all of the Inca's. Once a tribe was conquer by the Incas they had to pay taxes to the Sapa Inca, worship the Inca religion, and working for the Sapa Inca.
The Conquering of the Incas: In the 1530's the Pizzaro and the Spaniards arrived in South America. The Spanish were looking for gold and riches to take back to Spain. The Spaniards carried the dieses smallpox. The Incas were not immune to this dieses from Europe and caught it quickly. Smallpox killed half of the Incas. The Spanish killed Pachacuti with man made weapons and not medical weapons. After Pachacuti's death his kingship group was responsible for the maintenance and new construction. However Pachacuti's Machu Picchu couldn't survive with out him. Years after Pachacuti's death the Inca civilization perished and died. Machu Picchu was never discovered by the Spanish.
The rediscovering of Machu Picchu : A legend once said that if broken Machu Picchu couldn't be found, I guess that legend was wrong or Machu Picchu was never broken because Martain Bingham found it. Martain Bingham was born in Hawaii. He earned his collage education at Yale and Harvard Universities, and became a scientist. When Bingham attended the First Pan-American Scientific Congress in Santiago, Chile he decided to follow the old Spanish trade route to Buenos Aired, Lima, and Cuzco. When Bingham was in Cuzco he met with a one of J.J Nunez, he invited Bingham on a trip to Choquekirau where Bingham discovered the lost world of the Inca's with a topographer, biographer, and geology engineers ion July 14, 1911.
The architecture of Machu Picchu : When the Incas built Machu Picchu they shaped the stones of the buildings so exact that to this day you can't fit a thin knife between the stones. The stones aren't staying together because of mortar but because of pure craftsmanship.
The homes were shaped like a pentagonal prism. The strange thing about the building in Machu Picchu is they were built without roofs. Some of the buildings were built in a rectangular prism shapes. The doors of most of the buildings were trapezoid shaped. The only buildings with roofs were the homes that were on the outside of Machu Picchu, they were very small huts, and the Sapa Inca's temples.
Important stone buildings: The Incas built many towers for them to look out for other rival tribes. The Torreon thought to be a defensive tower was built over a sacred ghetto, though it could have been a sun temple.
Other interesting facts about the Incas and Machu Picchu : The Incas believed that gold was the sweat of the sun and silver was the tears of the moon. Only true Incas were allowed to were gold and silver. The priest of the HIGHEST POWER was called Villac-amu which means sorcerer who speaks. Machu Picchu is about five square miles. Machu Picchu was a secret ceremonial city. Machu Picchu was home to about 1200 Incas. There are about 200 buildings comprised in Machu Picchu. In the Inca language 7 means for tying the sun. if you had a headache and you lived in Inca times you would have a hole drilled into your head to release the evil spirits. if the weather wasn't good the high priest would pick someone to be sacrificed to the gods.
Games: Explore and play fun games on Machu Picchu and the Incas.
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Bibliography and Credits Photo Album of Machu Picchu