Historians believe Machu Picchu was built at the height of the Inca Empire, which dominated western South America in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Machu Picchu was a city of the Inca Empire. It is sometimes called the “lost city” because the Spanish never discovered the city when they conquered the Inca in the 1500s. Today the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca site located on a ridge between the Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountains in Peru. It sits 7,970 feet (2,430 meters) above sea level on the eastern slope of the Andes and overlooks the Urubamba River hundreds of feet below.
Machu Picchu is believed to have been constructed around 1450 under the direction of Inca emperor Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui as something of a royal mountain estate.
Machu Picchu means “Old Mountain” in the native language of Peru, and was built as a fortress city for the aristocracy of Cuzco, the capital of the Inca empire. Machu Picchu was abandoned soon after the fall of the Inca Empire, due to the Spanish invasion, and remained intact until its discovery in 1911.
Influenza and smallpox were the main causes of death among the Inca population and it affected not only the working class but also the nobility.
The most common conclusion from experts on Inca history and archaeologists is that it was built first and foremost as a retreat for the Inca and his family to worship natural resources, deities and specially the Sun, Inti.
The Incas were some of the best masons in the world. The structures were so well built with a technique called ashlar (stones that are cut to fit together without mortar) that not even a knife blade can fit in between stones.
Generally, all historians agree when said that Machu Picchu was used as housing for the Inca aristocracy after the Spanish conquest of in 1532. After Tupac Amaru, the last rebel Inca, was captured, Machu Picchu was abandoned as there was no reason to stay there.
The dwellings at Machu Picchu were probably built and occupied from the mid-15th to the early or mid-16th century. Machu Picchu’s construction style and other evidence suggest that it was a palace complex of the ruler Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui (reigned c. 1438–71).
Today, hundreds of thousands of people tramp through Machu Picchu every year, braving crowds and landslides to see the sun set over its towering stone monuments and marvel at the mysterious splendor of one of the world’s most famous manmade wonders.
Built during the reign of Inca Pachacutec (1438 – 1471), Machu Picchu took some 30 years to construct.
The Story of Machu Picchu Most modern archaeologists and historians agree that Machu Picchu was built by the Inca Pachacutec, the greatest statesman of Tahuantinsuyo (what the Inca called their expansive empire), who ruled from 1438 to 1471.
Built without the use of mortar, metal tools, or the wheel, Machu Picchu is an engineering marvel.
Most of the evidence recovered at Machu Picchu relates to the creation of objects from tin bronze, an alloy of copper associated with the Inca State, but objects were fashioned of precious metal as well. The excavations of 1912 found a wide variety of metal tools and jewelry.