The ruins of Machu Picchu are divided into two main sections known as
the Urban and Agricultural Sectors, divided by a wall. The Agricultural
Sector is further subdivided into Upper and Lower sectors, while the
Urban Sector is split into East and West sectors, separated by wide
The central buildings of Machu Picchu use the classical Inca
architectural style of polished dry-stone walls of regular shape. The
Incas were masters of this technique, called ashlar, in which blocks of
stone are cut to fit together tightly without mortar. Many junctions in
the central city are so perfect that it is said not even a blade of
grass fits between the stones.
Some Inca buildings were constructed using mortar, but by Inca standards
this was quick, shoddy construction, and was not used in the building of
important structures. Peru is a highly seismic land, and mortar-free
construction was more earthquake-resistant than using mortar. The stones
of the dry-stone walls built by the Incas can move slightly and resettle
without the walls collapsing.
Inca walls had numerous design details that helped protect them against
collapsing in an earthquake. Doors and windows are trapezoidal and tilt
inward from bottom to top; corners usually are rounded; inside corners
often incline slightly into the rooms; and "L"-shaped blocks often were
used to tie outside corners of the structure together. These walls do
not rise straight from bottom to top but are offset slightly from row to
The Incas never used the wheel in any practical manner. Its use in toys
demonstrates that the principle was well-known to them, although it was
not applied in their engineering. The lack of strong draft animals, as
well as steep terrain and dense vegetation issues, may have rendered the
wheel impractical. How they moved and placed the enormous blocks of
stones remains a mystery, although the general belief is that they used
hundreds of men to push the stones up inclined planes. A few of the
stones still have knobs on them that could have been used to lever them
into position; it is believed that after the stones were placed, the
Incas would have sanded the knobs away, but a few were overlooked.
The space is composed of 140 structures or features, including temples,
sanctuaries, parks, and residences that include houses with thatched
roofs. There are more than one hundred flights of stone steps –often
completely carved from a single block of granite –and numerous water
fountains. These were interconnected by channels and water-drains
perforated in the rock that were designed for the original irrigation
system. Evidence suggests that the irrigation system was used to carry
water from a holy spring to each of the houses in turn.
According to archaeologists, the urban sector of Machu Picchu was
divided into three great districts: the Sacred District, the Popular
District to the south, and the District of the Priests and the Nobility.
Located in the first zone are the primary archaeological treasures: the
Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun and the Room of the Three Windows.
These were dedicated to Inti, their sun god and greatest deity. The
Popular District, or Residential District, is the place where the
lower-class people lived. It includes storage buildings and simple
The royalty area, a sector for the nobility, is a group of houses
located in rows over a slope; the residence of the Amautas (wise
persons) was characterized by its reddish walls, and the zone of the
Ñustas (princesses) had trapezoid-shaped rooms. The Monumental Mausoleum
is a carved statue with a vaulted interior and carved drawings. It was
used for rites or sacrifices.
As part of their road system, the Incas built a road to the Machu Picchu
region. Today, tens of thousands of tourists walk the Inca Trail to
visit Machu Picchu each year. They acclimatise at Cusco before starting
on the two- to four-day journey on foot from the Urubamba valley,
walking up through the Andes mountain range to the isolated city.
The people of Machu Picchu were connected to long-distance trade, as
shown by non-local artifacts found at the site. As an example, Bingham
found unmodified obsidian nodules at the entrance gateway. In the 1970s,
Burger and Asaro determined that these obsidian samples were from the
Titicaca or Chivay obsidian source, and that the samples from Machu
Picchu showed long-distance transport of this obsidian type in
The Guardhouse is a three-sided building, with one of its long sides
opening onto the Terrace of the Ceremonial Rock. The three-sided style
of Inca architecture is known as the wayrona style.
Travel all around
the world is one of the pleasures that few people can afford, and if
you’re going to visit almost every place, you got to come to Perú, and
Machu Picchu Vacations, and try to
take advantage of this magical an timeless Sanctuary