Ep. 23: Machu Picchu

Following a mule trail, history professor and explorer Hiram Bingham would soon cement his place in history by finding one of the wonders of the world.  Machu Picchu, a suspected estate of Pachacuti, is a feat of engineering that looks over the Sacred Valley.  A highly religious site, Machu Picchu is filled with huacas, temples, grave sites and is ingrained into the mountainous landscape.  It is an amazing place to visit, so click play and let’s go on a tour.  

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Intro music by: Los Incas: El Condor Pasa

Exit Music by: Los Incas: El Condor Pasa

Machu Picchu. Picture by: Nick Machinski
Southern map of the site. From Monuments of the Inca
Northern map of the site. From Monuments of the Inca
From: Monuments of the Inca
Looking East towards the Sun Gate. You also see some of the terraces that were used primarily to fight erosion. Picture by: Nick Machinski
The Inca Trail west of Machu Picchu. Notice how it hugs the cliffside.
Picture by: Nick Machinski
“The modern road that zigzags up the slope climbed by Bingham in 1911. Picture by: Edward Ranney. From: Monuments of the Inca.
Walking up the slope (because you don’t have to take the bus up) one is first greeted by a series of terraces. They may have served some agricultural purpose, but they also fought erosion. Photo by: Nick Machinski
Upper terraces. Center right are Funerary Rock and The Watchman’s Hut. Photo by: Nick Machinski.
Remnants of a suspected Kallanka just off the Inca Trail. Photo by: Nick Machinski.
Funerary Rock. Photo by: Nick Machinski
View from one of the windows in The Watchman’s Hut. Photo by: Nick Machinski.
Notice the division between the site. One theory is that this represents a moiety division. Photo by: Nick Machinski
View of the Sacred Plaza. Photo By: Nick Machinski
View of the Residential Sector. Photo by: Nick Machinski
Entering through the Old Gate. Photo by: Nick Machinski
The Torreon was a temple for Inti. Photo by: Nick Machinski
Top view of the Torreon. Photo by: Nick Machinski.
Another view of the Torreon with the terraces in the background. Photo by: Nick Machinski.
“The ‘mausoleum’ beneath the torreon outcrop. Photograph by Martin Cahmbri, 1928.”
From: Monuments of the Inca.
“The sculpted grotto, known as the ‘royal mausoleu,’ below the torreon.”
Photo by: Edward Ranney. From: Monuments of the Inca.
The Royal Mausoleum. Photo by: Nick Machinski
Looking towards the South you can see remnants of one of the many quarries used for Machu Picchu. Photo by: Nick Machinski.
“Because the openings of the ‘temple of the three windows’ are slightly rounded, Bingham argued that they represented the caves of Tambo-toqo of the Inca origin legend.”
Photo by Edward Ranney. From: Monuments of the Inca.
The Temple of the Three Windows from across the site. Photo by: Nick Machinski
“The approach to the Inti-huatana. The trapazoidal openings on either side were partially filled by Inca masonry.” Photo by: Edward Ranney. From: Monuments of the Inca.
Nobody is quite sure what Inti-huatana is supposed to represent. Perhaps it represented the mountain’s spirit. Maybe it was an altar or a sun dial. We may never know.
Photo by: Nick Machinski
Some of the terraces at Huayna Picchu (Young Peak). Photo by: Nick Machinski.
From: Monuments of the Inca.
From: Monuments of the Inca.
The Sacred Rock directly outlines Mount Yanantin and was a shrine to that mountain’s spirit. Photo by: Nick Machinski.
“The lower, eastern side of Machu Picchu contained residential enclosures for the site, some with high-gabled double-sided masmas (to the right).”
Photo by: Edward Ranney. From: Monuments of the Inca.
From: Monuments of the Inca.
“Bingham imagined prisoners confined in the tall niches of the ‘prison group’; others feel that they may have held mummies or similar images.”
Photo by: Edward Ranney. From: Monuments of the Inca.
The Condor Stone. Photo by: Nick Machinski.
From: Monuments of the Inca.
From: Monuments of the Inca.
The “Granite Citadel of Machu Picchu, the crown of Inca Land.” Photo by: Nick Machinski

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