Machu Picchu – the inca city between clouds
Machu Picchu is a city of Cuzco Region (located in the valley of Urubamba) in Peru. It is also known as the Lost City, but it is a wrong name, the lost city beeing Vitkos, the last capital of the inca empire.
Most archaeologists consider that Machu Picchu was built in the fifteenth century, during the reign of Pachacuti. This site is considered the private sanctuary of king Pachacuti who would die in 1470, the city was forgotten and left (theory supported by the researchers John Howland Rowe and Richard Burger).
It is built in the style of inca. The most important elements of the site are Itihuatana rock, which is used as altar, compass and observer (Temple of the Sun) and the construction of the temple of the 3 windows, located in the Sacred District of Machu Picchu town.
Although it is only 80 km away from Cuzco, the ancient capital of the incas, the spanish did not discover the city, and thus didn’t destroyed it.
The discovery of Machu Picchu city
Inca empire was an empire of 24,000 km of roads and especially with master architects. The empire will be conquered by the spanish around 1,530. In 1533, Pizarro invaded Cuzco, in two years coming to rob it completely. Despite the riposte of incas, three years later, the Spanish lasted 11 months the siege, and after reinforcements arrived, the incas were forced to flee into the jungle, losing again the battle.
Machu Picchu is a city between clouds, which escaped the Spanish invasion and destruction. It will be discovered by Hiram Bingham, a professor of history, geography at Yale University, later known as pilot, writer, politician, a man of contrasts, but ambitious.
In 1911, Hiram Bingham goes in search of the Lost City and fame. He start his searching at Cuzco, the ancient capital of the inca, accompanied by his colleague from Yale, Dr. Harry Foote, naturalist amateur and Sergeant Carrasco, a local from Peruvian government, which will serve as a translator. Six days after leaving Cuzco, expedition team arrived on a small plantation, Mando Pampa, owner of it confirming to Bingham the words of a local drunk Quevada, the existence of ruins named Machu Picchu. Stone terraces, each, few tens meters long and and three meters high , majestic carved windows, thousands of stone steps, disappointing Bingham, the place unmatching the lost city describe. The city itself, Machu Picchu, did not appear in any chronicle, so that Bingham will continue exploring, discovering the most searching lost city, Vitkos, the last refuge of the inca king Vilcamba, also called Ghost Plain .
Discovered in 1911, will be explored and made known to the crowd, in its true splendor, a year later, Bingham’s Inca discoveries from June 1911 were eclipsed by the discovery of the South Pole.
In February 1912, the editor of National Geographic and Yale University will sponsor the second expedition, which will cleanse the site of vegetation for four months. This last expedition will make Hiram Bingham famous.
Machu Picchu, according to the official theory, is a city built in the XVth century, when the wheel, horses or oxen were not known to the people. Remaining ruins still standing shows a perfect combination of the huge stones, which even after four centuries were not pierced by vegetation. Stones weighing tons were under archaeologists theories hauled on mountain plateau by locals on inaccessible paths even for tourists.
What other theories say about Machu Picchu?
Despite afirmations by archaeologists, in Machu Picchu there are two architectural styles: the old, same style as Saksaywaman fortress or as the foundation of Cuzco city, constructions that aren’t known by whom were created, dating from before the incas; new style, medieval tool that uses small stones and a combination of stones, differs of old style.
Researchers also noted that Machu Picchu was built on a cutted mountain top , not an initial plateau. Mountain of the city was reinforced by engineering stone construction , starting at the bottom of it.
According to Zecharia Sitchin supported theory, Machu Picchu was originally built by a superior civilization of the inca, serving as astronomical center, Itihuatana stone being an indication for astronomical observatories.