Lamba at Machu Picchu

Discoveries and Factoids about Machu Picchu

5 Things you didn’t know about Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu at sundown 2430 m. above sea level

Peru by itself is steeped in ancient history and home to one of the great civilizations of the world; the Incas. This civilization is known to us today for their architecture, mathematics, medicine and surprise the coca leaf (later to be used to create Coca Cola). Yet to us in the western world, Peru seems to trigger the image of the amazing construction of Machu Picchu.

This 15th-century Inca citadel is found on a mountain ridge 2,430 meters above sea level basking as a masterpiece of architecture of the Inca civilization. As shown on the map, we find this phenomenon of architecture to accent the terrain just south of the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Machu Picchu

1. “Old Person Peak”

The name “Machu Picchu” comes from the Quechuan language translated as the “Old Peak” or “Old Person Peak.”

2. Architecture like lego blocks

Ashlar, an Incan architecture technique, chose blocks of stone are cut to fit together tightly without mortar. Stone by store the 150 buildings on the site have been fitted so perfect that not even a knife fit between any given stone.

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3. Commonly understood to by rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911 but…

due to more recent findings; a map was discovered to have been drawn by a German business man “Augusto Bern” who would have made the discovery 40 years before Bingham. Bern, with the permission of the Peruvian administration was given the permission to deface some of the ruins he had discovered.

4. “Not” the Lost City of the Incas

When rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911; he wrote about his findings in his book called “Lost City of the Incas.” This has been misunderstood to be the “true” lost city. Though it is more likely that (Choquequirao) is the true lost cities of the Incan civilization.

5. 100 Year Debate between Yale and Peru

As a Yale scholar, Hiram brought a number of artifacts back to the United States to be further analyzed and stored in Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History. This did not please the Peruvian government so in 1918 and 1920 they requested the artifacts returned. In response Yale returned some of the items in 1921. It wasn’t until 20o1 another request was made to return the rest of the items with 7 years of little success. Thus 2008 a suit was filed and ended up favoring Peru and in 2011 the rest of the items were returned.

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