Friday, 9 September 2011

10 interesting facts - Machchu Pichchu

More than7,000 feet above sea level in the AndesMountains, Machu Picchu isthe most visited tourist destination in Peru. A symbol of the Incan Empireand built around 1450AD, Machu Picchuwas designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and was named one of theNew Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.

10. Inthe Quechua Indian language, “Machu Picchu”means “Old Peak”or “Old Mountain.”

9. Machu Picchu is made up ofmore than 150 buildings ranging from baths and houses to temples andsanctuaries.

8. Thecompound contains more than 100 separate flights of stairs. Most of theindividual staircases were carved from one slab of stone.

7.Although many of the stones that were used to build the city were more than 50pounds, it is believed that no wheels were used to transport these rocks up themountain. Rather, it is thought that hundreds of men pushed the heavy rocks upthe steep mountain side.

6. Manydifferent theories exist about Machu  Picchu’s purpose – a royal estate and asecret ceremonial center among them.

5. TheIncas were some of the best masons in the world. The structures were so wellbuilt with a technique called ashlar (stones that are cut to fit togetherwithout mortar) that not even a knife blade can fit in between stones.

4. Machu Picchu was onlyknown locally until Yale Professor Hiram Bingham re-discovered the site in1911. His book, The Lost City of the Incas, was based on his findings.

3. A long-standingdispute between Peru and Yale Universityhas existed over the artifacts collected by Bingham during his exploration ofthe site. Yale maintains that they own the items while Peru insists they were given onloan.

2. Machu Picchu was anastronomical observatory, and its sacred Intihuatana stone accurately indicatesthe two equinoxes. Twice a year, the sun sits directly over the stone creatingno shadow.

1.Unfortunately, most cities built by the Inca civilization were destroyed by theSpanish conquest. Machu Picchuwas in a hidden location – invisible from below – and not found,making it one of the most well-preserved Inca cities and an archeological gem.

Thanks: wwfblogs, Google pic.

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