The “Lost City of the Inca” is among the most spectacular archeological sites on this planet. Perched high on a saddle between two peaks, surrounded by thick jungle and infrequently shrouded in cloud, it’s nearly invisible from below. A compact site of just 5 sq miles ( 13 sq km), it was built in 1460 by the lncan ruler Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui.
Although often known as a city, it was more of a royal retreat for the Inca aristocracy. About 1,000 individuals inhabited the area and so they were fully self-sufficient, being surrounded by agricultural terraces and watered by natural springs. Even at the time, few individuals outdoors the closed Inca group were aware of Machu Picchu’s existence .
The people who built Machu Picchu possessed extremely advanced building skills. A number of the building blocks weigh more than 50 tons, yet they’re meticulously designed and match together so precisely that the thinnest knife can’t be inserted between the mortarless joints. The ruins are roughly divided into two areas: the agricultural sector, consisting of terraces for cultivation, and the city sector, with constructions of various dimension, canals, and steps. The design of the site reveals the creativity of the builders. The big walls, delicate terraang, and steep ramps might nearly have been sculpted out of the rock by the elements.
The discovery of this main lncan site in 1911 was one of the significant archeological finds of the 20th century. American explorer Hiram Bingham had set out to discover Vileabamba, the legendary last refuge of the defeated Inca empire, however instead he came across Machu Picchu. It took Bingham and his crew several years to clear the thick vegetation that had coated the ruins. Beneath were homes, temples, canals, and 1000’s of steps and terraces. What made the discovery so thrilling was the fact that the Spanish conquistadors had not discovered and plundered the site, and that it was also untouched by treasure hunters.
The Inca based their capital, Cusco, within the 13th century and started a penod of conquest. By the early 16th century, the Inca empire reached from Chile to Colombia and controlled round 12 milion individuals. This effectively-organized civilization had a sophisticated economic system and a road network of 20,000 miles (32,200 km). They dominated with fierce army would possibly and had a strict social hierarchy, but they also learned from the cultures they conquered. The Inca worshiped the natural world, seeing the Sun as the final word giver of life and their leader as its direct descendant. Mountain peaks, dwelling of the spirits, were used for human sacrifice . Celestial events were monitored so that they knew when to plant and harvest crops, and when to hold religious ceremonies.