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Machu Picchu Provides a Glimpse Into Past Inca Life

During the 20th century, Machu Picchu was rediscovered. At first, researchers thought it was Vilcabamba, a village where Incas were known to survive when the Spanish took over. However, this theory is now considered wrong; instead, Machu Picchu was likely an important ceremonial and religious site. Though the exact date of Machu's construction is unclear, it likely grew during the rapid expansion period of the Inca Empire at the end of the 15th century.

Machu Picchu was a site that contained gardens, terraces, ceremonial buildings, and palaces. Hundreds of steps connected the terraced gardens with aqueducts, fountains, and bath buildings throughout the land. Skeletons excavated from the site show that the female-male ratio was 10:1, which led to the belief that Machu Picchu was a site of sun worship and sanctuary for women, known as the Virgins of the Sun. Furthermore, there is evidence of a stone structure known as Intihuatana (Hitching Post of the Sun), which is thought to have been a device for calculating dates and solstices.

The sun was an essential element of culture in this community. Solar observations appeared to be hosted at the Tower of the Sun, constructed with unique windows oriented to capture the sun's sun at winter solstice. Inti Raymi, an Inca sun festival, is known to have occurred at this location during solstices. 
 The most remarkable aspect of Macchu Picchu is its impressive stonework on which white granite blocks are laid without mortar. The stones are locked together in an intricate way where their edges connect perfectly to fit into one another. This has allowed the buildings to stay strong and stand to this day.

Though Machu Picchu was abandoned hundreds of years before it was rediscovered, its buildings and culture give a glimpse of life in the past and the traditions people celebrated.

[Source: 100 Great Wonders Of The World]

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