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Wednesday, March 5, 2008 (read 939 times)

The incredible Machu Picchu

by Celine

Machu Picchu is a pre-Columbian city that was created by the Inca in the 15th century. It is located at 2,430 m on an Andes mountain ridge in the Urubamba Valley in Peru, about 70 km northwest of Cuzco.

Forgotten for centuries by everyone but the locals, the city remained 'lost' for over three centuries until it was brought back to international attention by archaeologist Hiram Bingham who rediscovered it in 1911.

People believe that Machu Picchu was a royal estate and religious retreat built by Pachacuti Inca Yuapnqui, an Incan ruler. It is made up of about 200 buildings and although most are residences, there are also temples, storage structures and other public buildings. They say that about 1,200 people lived there, most being women, children and priests.

The majority of the structures found in Machu Picchu are built out of granite blocks which were cut with bronze or stone tools and smoothed with sand. It is so incredible because these hand cut rocks fit together perfectly although none of the blocks are the same size nor shape.

Another distinguishing factor of this magical city are the narrow cultuvation terraces that the Incas used to plant potatoes and maize crops, today home to grazing Llamas.

Machu Picchu is one of the most important archaeological places in the entire world and it's Peru's main tourist destination. Today this extraordinary settlement is world known by its imposing ruins, as by its incomparable location halfway up the Andes Plateau, deep in the Amazon.

At the moment, Peru is pursuing legal efforts in order to retrieve the thousands of artefacts that Bingham removed from the site.

Keywords: latin,holiday,culture,america,abroad


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