How the Incas Built Machu Picchu

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If you’ve ever wondered how the Incas built such a beautiful and complex place, Machu Picchu may be the answer. The ancient citadel in the Andes Mountains was built in the 15th century and later abandoned. Its complex dry-stone walls and buildings use astronomical alignments and panoramic views to create a stunning architectural structure. What was it used for? Whether it was a city or a spiritual and ceremonial site, the answer is still up for debate.

Built without steel
Did you know that the Incas used no steel or iron in the construction of Machu Picchu? They are said to have built the structure without a single piece of steel, despite its weight of up to 50 tons. The construction was carried out using bronze tools and hard rocks found in nearby quarries. These tools were used to pound the stones into shape. The fact that the Incas did not use steel or iron in their construction of the city makes this feat all the more amazing.

Stone-cutting and mortar-free construction are among the reasons why the ancient Incas built such a spectacular site. Although they used no steel or nails, the Incas used primitive tools to carve the stones into such tight shapes. In addition to constructing the structures with stone, the Incas used a method of construction known as Ashlar, which involved stacking stones one on top of the other without using mortar. This method was used to build the ancient city, which is built on a major earthquake fault line.

Built without mortar
Did you know that the Incas built the Inca City without mortar? This ancient city on a mountain ridge survived earthquakes without any mortar and is still in tact today. The Incas built buildings by stacking stones and walls of varying sizes. The stones are more earthquake resistant than mortar, and the buildings have survived for centuries without significant change or erosion. The Incas also used dry stone masonry to build their structures, which explains why some of the buildings of the Inca city were built with a lack of mortar.

There are a number of reasons why the Incas did not use mortar in the construction of their citadel. First, the Incas never used a wheel to transport the massive granite rocks needed for building the citadel. The stones were carried up the Andean highlands by human laborers. They came from distant locations as far as 140 miles away. They used these granite rocks to build walls and terraces, and did not use mortar or other materials for that matter.

Built without wheels
Did you know that Machu Picchu was built without wheels? Although the Incas were aware of wheel technology, they never used it? They carried the massive granite stones for construction up the Andean mountains by hand. The stone was carried up the mountain ridge from as far as 140 miles away. The stone was then fitted together using loose fitting stone called ashlar. The stone was then used to build walls and terraces.

The buildings at Machu Picchu were constructed of stones of different sizes and shapes that were carefully stacked one atop the other. It is thought that the Incas did not have wheels or use iron tools to construct the buildings. Because no wheels or iron tools were used, the engineering and construction of the buildings is immeasurable. The Incas built 600 terraces to prevent the city from sliding down the mountain.

Built for spiritual and ceremonial purposes
Intihuatana, a carved granite block, is the most sacred place in Machu Picchu. It was named for its association with the astronomical calendar. It was also believed to cast almost no shadow during the spring equinox, which kept the sun from retreating farther away from earth. The astronomical calendar is still used today, but some aspects of the structure are still a mystery.

The ruins are located in a region prone to earthquakes, but so far, the site has not suffered any damage. In addition to its high location, it is also built on a highly sophisticated drainage system. And because the stones were carved so precisely, the ruins have never suffered a single tremor. The ruins have no need for mortar, as they were hammered into place by direct hammering. In addition to being built for spiritual and ceremonial purposes, the ruins also serve as archeoastronomical centers.

Built without electricity
Hundreds of thousands of tourists a year trek through the ruins of Machu Picchu. Although this ancient site is a World Heritage Site, it is also a huge global tourist attraction. Overtourism and the construction of an airport are two threats the ruins face. In an effort to preserve the sacred site, locals are opposing these changes. The natives also feel that their spirituality is being trampled upon.

The building of Machu Picchu is interwoven with the land, a reflection of the ancient peoples’ reverence for the earth. The buildings were incorporated into the hillside based on function, and irrigation systems were designed to limit erosion, conserve water, and support agricultural conditions. This way, the city remained intact for more than 1,000 years. Although some modern cities rely on electricity, the Inkas chose to go the natural route, which is why the ruins are powered by solar energy instead of wind and sun.

Built in the waning years of the last Incas
Many people claim that Machu Picchu was a royal estate, and while this may be true, the ruins were not set up to be for military purposes. Instead, the site appears to be built to be a temporary retreat for the Inca emperor and his family. The ruins’ location provided natural defenses from nearby deep precipices, and there are many structures that add to their spiritual significance.

The Incas did not use steel or other modern tools to build these ruins. They instead used bronze tools to carve the stone, as well as hard stones from nearby quarries. Nevertheless, these tools did have marks of use, suggesting that they had to pound the stones into shape. Today, over one million people visit Machu Picchu, and many of them fall in love with it.

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