Lost City of Machu Picchu
The Lost City of Machu Picchu is a mysterious wonder; the Incas built there a city of stone, without the aid of wheels or iron tools. This is the best example of Inca engineering. They built more than 600 terraces to prevent the city from sliding down the mountain. They designed a water supply system with a length of about 1 km.
For the Incas the architecture was especially important. The temples which were built around the city are oriented to catch the rays of the rising sun. The slopes of the roofs reflect the Huayna Picchu, the mountain that emerges after them. However, Machu Picchu has kept its secrets well, hiding for over 400 years its true meaning and purpose.
Apparently Machu Picchu was divided into three main areas: the residential area, with the home of the wise men or amautas, trapezoidal rooms occupied by ñustas or princesses and the popular and sacred neighborhood. The sacred neighborhood was dedicated to his principal deity Inti, Sun God; is in this area where are the main jewels of Intiwatana, the Temple of the Sun and the Room of the Three Windows.
Abandoned in the sixteenth century and invaded by the Andean forest, became a lost place and was forgotten even by the people who built it. Intact for centuries, Machu Picchu is a window to the past, through which we can know who built it: the Incas, an ancient civilization that created the most powerful empire in South America.
For centuries, Machu Picchu was hidden to the world. The Spanish conquistadors never found it and the Incas who knew the location of Machu Picchu where eventually forgetting it.
When Hiram Bingham arrived to the territory occupied by the Archaeological Park of Machu Picchu, it was uninhabited at least since the fifteenth century, when the Inca Huayna Capac was still young. According to historian Victor Angles, the last Incas did not met Machu Picchu and therefore the Spanish never penetrated it, because by that time there were no roads or towns that would lead there.
Machu Picchu is one of the archaeological remains that arouses particular interest in the world and is undoubtedly the best expression that demonstrates the ability of the Andean people. They raise many theories about Machupicchu.
One of the theories suggests that the city was unknown to the Incas, this occurs due to the type of construction and the lack of historical data that would indicate that it was a building older than the Incas, i.e. belonging to the pre-Inca.
The second theory is that it was a Vestal center for the refuge of the Ñustas or Virgins of the Sun, so we can consider that it was a sacred city: this theory is because at the Spanish arrived, the Inca rulers, in order to avoid more thefts, these women were chosen escape to a secret location in the Andes, this place out to be the city of Machu Picchu. This theory is also explained by the discovery of 107 human remains, of which 68.9% were women remains.
A third theory is that Machu Picchu was the last capital of the Empire and Vilcabamba was the last city where the Incas retired led by Manco Inca in the year 1536 when he was defeated by the Spanish after surrounding Cuzco.
Since Hiram Bingham unveiled Machupicchu in 1911, the site has attracted the admiration of the world and is perhaps the most historic site of identification for Peru.