Articles tagged with: Inca empire
Machu Picchu Architecture
Inca architecture is most known for its polygonal stones used in many religious buildings. One stone found in a temple wall in Machu Picchu is estimated to have at least 33 corners. Machu Picchu has about 200 buildings that are considered architectural wonders. These buildings were made of individually shaped pieces of carved gray granite stone that fitted perfectly together.
Machu Picchu History and Discovery
Machu Picchu was built around AD1460 by Inca Pachacuti.The Spaniards never found Machu Picchu, so unlike other cities in the Inca Civilization, it was never destroyed or changed. In 1911 Hiram Bingham, an American explorer, accidentally discovered Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas”.
The Inca society was a vertical hierarchical organization divided in four social classes. At the top of the stratum was the Sapa Inca, the most powerful person in the empire. …
The fall of the Inca Empire
From around 1200 when the first Inca, Manco Capac, settled in Cusco, until 1533 when the last Inca, Atahualpa, was executed; the Inca civilization had grown from a group of …
Interesting facts about Machu Picchu
Interesting facts about the lost city of Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu means “Old Mountain” in Quechua, the Inca language.
Hiram Bingham rediscovered the lost city in 1911.
The lost city is located at an altitude of 2,430 meters or 7,970 feet above sea level.
UNESCO declared Machu Picchu a World Heritage Site in 1983.
It is estimated that around 1.5 million tourists visit Cusco every year, and the city of Cusco have become the main tourist attractions in Peru and one of the …
Inti Raymi, The Celebration of the Sun
In Quechua Inti means Sun and Raymi celebration. Inti Raymi is the celebration of the God Sun, the most venerated god in Inca religion. According to Inca tradition, Pachatutec, the first Inca, created the Inti Raymi to celebrate the winter solstice which marked the first day of the New Year in the Inca calendar. The winter solstice begins on June 21st but according to the Incas the sun stays in the same place until the 24th when it finally rises.
Machu Picchu was the most magnificent community the Incas built, its name means “Old Mountain” in Quechua. It is believed that Machu Picchu was built around AD1460 by Inca Pachacutec. In 1983 UNESCO added Machu Picchu to its list of World Heritage Sites. Machu Picchu was re discovered in 1911 by HIram Bingham, an American explorer who was searching for Vilcabamba, the last resting place of the Incas. His project was funded by Yale University and National Geographic Society.
Why was Machu Picchu built?
The most common conclusion from experts on Inca history and archaeologists is that it was built first and foremost as a retreat for the Inca and his family to worship natural resources, deities and specially the Sun, Inti. In reality things do not have one single purpose and Machu Picchu had a multiplicity of uses and significance.
The city was inhabited for just over one hundred years and no one knows for sure why the Incas abandoned such a magnificent city. It is believed that the civil war between the brothers Atahualpa and Huascar had interrupted the food supply to Machu Picchu. Another possibility is that it was affected by an epidemic that killed its residents.
Machu Picchu Archaeological Sites
As a sacred place a lot of planning was put into its construction; priests, architects and engineers studied how the light of the sun and the moon radiated to each mountain and how the stars aligned to each building. Meticulous architectural and engineering planning was required in order to meet religious standards. Lets not forget that Machu Picchu is located in semi tropical land or highland jungle where rain can be intense and earthquakes frequent. Inca engineers had the knowledge to erect anti seismic buildings and ensure at the same time that the land would not erode.