Citadel of Machu Picchu: One of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World

Description

Machu Picchu, Quechua term whose meaning is Old Mountain. Today it is universally known, both for its imposing archaeological remains, and for its incomparable location, on the edge of an abyss at whose bottom run the mighty waters of the Urubamba River.

  

Machu Picchu, more than a citadel, is an architectural complex that only lacks ceilings. This complex is called a city, because of the large number of houses that currently have more than 200, and at its peak they should have been more. In addition, its design includes squares, temples, roads, stairways, terraces, aqueducts, etc.

What to see in Machu Picchu

AGRICULTURAL SECTOR:

  • SUPERIOR AGRICULTURAL AREA
  • It is the one in the current access road, from the middle up composed of a series of agricultural terraces. In the upper part is what the majority calls as "The Cemetery" which was actually an agricultural ceremonial sector, which is planted with an infinity of stones. In this square there is a construction which is called "The Superior Guardians" which is nothing more than a construction of a utilitarian character of the Wayrana or Masma type (Inca construction of three walls). Then, almost in the middle of the square there is a carved rock called “The Funerary Rock” to which they give different functions related to funeral rites, but in reality it was an agricultural ceremonial altar. In the background you can see several buildings called "Qholqas" or large deposits. This is followed by a series of agricultural terraces usually referred to as platforms, but a large number of these, are found with a lot of vegetation.

  • LOWER AGRICULTURAL AREA
  • Located in the lower part of what is the current access road to the citadel. In this sector are ¨Lower Guardians¨, places that were actually the homes of farmers. It is also worth mentioning that here are agricultural terraces covered by vegetation. The land found in these terraces is vegetable humus that was brought from another place and located on these terraces.

    URBAN SECTOR:

  • THE RELIGIOUS SECTOR
  • Composed of four constructions and some special lithics. It is a group of buildings related purely for religious functions. This set decomposes as follows:

    • ► The main temple
    • This sector is better known as the ¨Temple of the Sun¨. It should be clarified that in Inca times the sun was not the most important deity, its conception is linked more with the concept of light. This construction is of isodomous blocks of an amazing elaboration and insertion. The characteristic is that they are lithic blocks that, as observed, those of the lower part are semi-megalithic and those of the upper parts are small in size. The building has several trapezoidal niches arranged in 5-7-5 (5 in each lateral parameter and 7 in the center). Apart from this, in the lower part of the frontal parameter three lithics of considerable dimensions. This block is the ceremonial area of the temple and the two small blocks are secondary elements or accessory tables of the main altar for the placement of objects that were used for the placement of objects that were used for the paraphernalia of the rites performed in this place.

    • ► The Temple of the Three Windows
    • Construction of Masma or Wayrana type of three walls, although this has a small difference in the front, where there is no wall but a lithic pillar for the support of the low roof beam. The physical element of the presence of the three windows, is directly related to the symbolic-ideological trilogy of the religion of the Andean world such as: Construction of Masma or Wayrana type of three walls, although this has a small difference in the front , where there is no wall but a lithic pillar for the support of the low roof beam. The physical element of the presence of the three windows, is directly related to the symbolic-ideological trilogy of the religion of the Andean world such as:

      Twinkle - Lightning - Thunder
      Sun - Moon - Stars
      Puma - Snake - Condor
                                              

      That is, a distinct element of ritual symbolic architecture. In addition to the three windows, this place has two trapezoidal blind niches, which leads us to another idea that would be linked much more to the ideological relationship of memories of the origins. It is therefore this construction linked to the symbology of the three lands (pachas) or union of worlds within the Andean ideology. All this for the reason of the existence of the lithic that has the carved step sign.

    • ► The Priest's House
    • A ritual and utilitarian construction, that is, as a deposit of paraphernalic objects.

    • ► The stone of the rites or rock of the ceremonies
    • This is a large block located at the angle of access to the temple square. It is indicated that this great block was a ritual altar, a sacred rock, in which certain religious rites related to the sector were carried out, such as offerings, sacrifices, etc.

    • ► The room of the priests or Temple of the Stars
    • Construction found in the back of the main temple. Its walls are made of rectangular lithic sillar type or rectangular isodom. It has 13 trapezoidal niches and a monolithic lithic that has 24 angles. Because of these characteristics and also because of the type of construction and its location, it was related to ceremonial rites, although we cannot specify what rites it was dedicated for.

  • THE INTIHUATANA
  • It was an element of astronomical observation and calendrical use; At no time was a solar clock, it also had ceremonial and liturgical functions, you can not specify what type of religious activities were carried out in this place, nor the type of deity worshiped.

  • THE SECTOR OF THE SACRED ROCK OR EARTH TEMPLE
  • In the Quechua state there was a double representation of the earth, that is, two concepts: the first, of the world in the cosmos or the physical and ideological circular earth called ¨Teqse Muyo¨; and the second was to carve a rock with the profiles of a mountain, this element represented the concept of visible and workable land, so it was a waka. In this way the sector was directly linked with rites of agrarian character and rites to the land.

  • THE NEIGHBORHOOD NEIGHBORHOOD OR CALLED NEIGHBORHOOD OF THE THREE DOORS
  • According to a logic of social architecture and the system of the Inca urban layout, and finally by the ethnohistoric and ethnoarchaeological appreciation, we see that these were utilitarian neighborhoods, that is, houses, warehouses, workshops, etc. Therefore, the idea of an exclusive neighborhood for thinkers and intellectuals is discarded.

  • THE SACRED ROCK OR TEMPLE OF THE CONDOR
  • You cannot deny this carved rock a ritual function because it was a symbol linked to a totemic element that is a bird (condor or maybe a huaman = eagle or hawk) linked to the trilogy of the totemic animals of the Andean ideology, utilitarian , because he had to fulfill the functions of a work table.



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