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Discover 10 Secrets of Machu Picchu

Discover 10 Secrets of Machu Picchu

One of the most rewarding experiences in Peru is hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Since its discovery, Machu Picchu has attracted many people from all over the world. This includes historians and researchers. However, Machu Picchu still holds a few remarkable secrets.

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Machu Picchu was never meant to be found.

When the Spanish invaded Peru, the Incas feared that their treasures would be stolen.  Their temples, palaces, and other structures would be destroyed by Spanish troops. To totally hide the trails going to Machu Picchu, they lit a fire on the way out. Only in 1911 did professor Hiram Bingham find Machu Picchu, proving that the Incas’ plan worked.

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It may not actually be the “Lost City of the Incas.”

When professor Hiram Bingham found Machu Picchu, he believed it to be Vilcabamba, the “Lost City of the Incas.” His beliefs were eventually debunked when an explorer Gene Savoy proved in 1964 that the true lost city of the Incas was Espiritu Pampa. It is located west of Machu Picchu.

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The royal family used Machu Picchu as a vacation spot.

According to researchers John Rowe, Richard Burger, and Lucy Salazar, Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, the Incan emperor who built Machu Picchu, used it as a vacation spot for his family. With all the palace ruins, temples, and facilities along with the stunning 24/7 views of the surrounding areas, Machu Picchu might have been a good place to be away from the bustling city of Cusco.

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It might be the home of ‘The virgins of the Sun.’

Professor Hiram Bingham thought that Machu Picchu had originally been a convent where selected women known as “Virgins of the Sun” lived. He believed this because there is extensive evidence that the Incas worshiped the Sun God.

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Roughly half of Machu Picchu is still underground.

Yes, more than half of Machu Picchu remains underground. Due to the extensive foundation and drainage system, 60% of Machu Picchu, according to National Geographic, is underground.

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There are actually two temples at Machu Picchu.

If you are familiar with the Temple of the Moon in Machu Picchu, you are likely unaware that there is a second temple, the Cave of Sun. Also known as Intimachay, the Cave of the Sun is located below the main site of Machu Picchu and was for ritualistic ceremonies in the winter solstice.

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It was inhabited by people of various cultures.

There is evidence that the Incas weren’t the only inhabitants of Machu Picchu. For instance, researchers have also found ceramics and pottery items. They don’t belong to the Incan era during the excavations of Machu Picchu.

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Machu Picchu can resist strong earthquakes.

Despite not having been constructed with iron, cement, or wheels, Machu Picchu can resist strong earthquakes. This is because of the ashlar masonry technique. This allows the stone to fit perfectly without any aid. When earthquakes happen, they appear to be moving only to return to their original shape later on.

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It could be a pilgrimage route.

According to modern experts, Machu Picchu was part of a pilgrimage route that was never completed due to the Spanish invasion. According to archaeo-astronomer Giulio Magli, the trek to Machu Picchu may have been connected to the first Incas who traveled from Lake Titicaca.

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There are still many archeological discoveries to be made at Machu Picchu.

The royal burial chamber of Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, the Inca king who built Machu Picchu, is thought to have been hidden behind a door. A door that French explorer Thierry Jamin uncovered in 2014. Due to the potential harm that such outside activities could do to the Machu Picchu site, it has not yet been opened.