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The History of Machu Picchu in Cusco – Peru Travel

The History of Machu Picchu in Cusco – Peru Travel

“I was born as a lily in the garden, and thus was I brought up, and as my age came, I grew old, and as I had to die, so I dried up and died – Pachacuti”.

On the morning of July 24, 1911 – Peru Travel, Hiram Bingham III, director of the Yale Scientific Expedition to Peru, in the company of a Peruvian Army escort, Sergeant Andrés Carrasco, and a young guide, made one of the main archaeological discoveries of the 20th century in the Peruvian Andes: the majestic archaeological site Inca of Machu Picchu.

Despite being known by local residents and travelers (Trekking), the place had not been included in the written narratives about the Incas. Since then, Machu Picchu, the most royal of Inca palaces (or Inca royal estates) still standing4, has become the quintessential symbol of Andean culture and Peruvian national identity. Machu Picchu was built by the Inca emperor Yupanqui, later remembered by his descendants as Pachacuti, the great king who built the city of Cusco and reformed the Inca religion. To understand an Inca site it is necessary to contextualize it within a sociopolitical framework. wider; Often, Machu Picchu has not been understood because it is treated without such contextualization and, consequently, it has been perceived as a great mystery (Salazar 2004: 27 trek operator). This is evidenced not only in publications intended for the general public, but also in those produced by archaeologists and historians.

The burials allow us to observe aspects of life in Machu Picchu that are difficult to determine only by studying the monumental architecture. While the remains recovered in the central area are associated with materials Classic Inca in style, the tombs that Bingham found in the irregular terrain surrounding the site were characterized by containing funerary goods whose style is not predominantly that of imperial Inca Cusco. To understand these archaeological patterns, we must consider the identity of the individuals buried in the approximately 104 caves and rock shelters used as burial chambers that were studied by George Eaton and others members of the 1912 expedition (salkantay trek operator).

In this essay, Machu Picchu and its position within the imperial structure will be considered with a focus on funerary contexts. This paper provides greater clarity on the way in which power was exercised by the Inca elite, both in terms of their relationship with servants (yanaconas) and state-directed artisans (mitimaes) and the factional tensions that gave shapes power struggles between members of the Inca elite (Cusco Operator).

Although Machu Picchu is frequently used as a type of site for the study of the Inca imperial state style, investigations of the cemeteries reveal a more complex pattern, reflecting particular activities of a dynastic descent group –royal corporation– or panaca, as well as as the multi-ethnic composition of the populations under their control. While the former can be seen in the known architecture and associated materials, the latter is more clearly reflected in the contexts of the tombs of the 174 individuals buried at the site, which were documented by the investigations of 1912 (Burger and Salazar 2004 Peru Travel).

After a preliminary analysis of the documentation and archaeological materials deposited at the Yale Peabody Museum, we suggest that Machu Picchu should be considered a royal hacienda built by one of the royal panacas of Cusco. (Burger and Salazar 1993; Salazar 2004 salkantay operator). A panaca was a kin group descended from the ruler main Inca (known as Sapac Inca) and included the male and female descendants of that individual, with the exception of his successor to the throne, who founded his own panaca (Sarmiento de Gamboa 1944 [1572] salkantay trek). Written colonial sources provide us with information about the landscape around the Inca capital and how these lands were granted to the Inca ruler, his panaca, and royal lineages (ayllu) (Rostworowski 1988: 182 Peru Travel). The royal hacienda was created primarily to support an Inca ruler and his court during his lifetime and after his death (Niles 1988: 57). These royal groups controlled land around their royal estates and used what was produced on them for consumption, among other purposes. In the case of Machu Picchu, the surrounding agricultural area is relatively small, but it is suitable for growing corn (History of Machu Picchu in Cusco – Peru).

Based on the Spanish chronicles written in the early colonial period (Machu Piccho Operator), we know that the members of the panacas and their guests used the royal haciendas in the areas near Cusco as places of rest and relaxation, in addition to participating in activities such as hunting and feasts (Betanzos 1987 [1551-1557]: 189 Peru Trekking). In the Yucay Valley, there was intensive agriculture, especially the cultivation of corn, while in other haciendas the main crops were chili peppers and coca (Farrington 1995; Niles 2004: 55-57). Although we do not have complete knowledge about the operation and organization of these real properties, the architecture of Machu Picchu indicates that, in addition to agriculture, the members of the panaca were interested in the production of metallurgical objects, astronomical observations, and ritual activities typical of the religious system of the Inka empire.

In 1986, based on documents from the 16th century Peru Operator, John Rowe defined Machu Piccho as a royal hacienda. Rowe associated the archaeological site with the historical name of Pijchu or Pichu, a Quechua term for mountains (1987: 14). In these documents, all the lands at the bottom of the valley belonged to Inca “Yupangui” (that is, the Inca Pachacuti Yupanqui-Cusco Operator) and his panaca –Inaca Panaca Ayllo– (Sarmiento de Gamboa 1942: 141). The Inca Pachacuti Yupanqui conquered this region during his campaign to the Vitcos and Vilcabamba areas (Cobo 1964 [1653]: 135-137 Peru Trekking). Apparently, he took the land along the river for himself. Rowe’s hypothesis that Machu Picchu was founded by Pachacuti is consistent with our preliminary analysis of ceramics which indicates the complete absence of the styles known as Killke and Lucre, among others, which are the immediate antecedents of the imperial Inca style (Peru Operator ). It is also significant that a large number of architectural units, around thirty, seem to have been used for religious activities (Bingham 1930: 56-66; Buse de la Guerra 1978 Cusco Trek). This number is high in comparison with other royal haciendas such as Chincheros, Písac, and Callachaca, suggesting that from the beginning the panaca of Pachacuti must have played an exceptionally important role in the ceremonial life of the Cusco elite.

According to Betanzos, one of Pachacuti’s sons, Yamque Yupanqui Topa, was said to have dedicated his life to religious rather than political activities (Betanzos 1987 [1551-1557] Inca Trail Trek). If there were a special link between the panaca of Pachacuti and the Inca religious cult, this would explain the presence of unusual ritual constructions such as the Temple of the Three Windows in Machu Piccho, whose architectural reference to the mythical origin of the Incas is unique in relation to other royal haciendas (Salazar 2004: 36 Peru Travel). Given its apparent function as a royal hacienda for the panaca of Pachacuti, it is not surprising that Machu Picchu was built with the design and stonework patterns associated with the Inca elite, still visible in many of the palaces and temples that have been preserved in Cusco trekking. The finest architecture in Machu Picchu is concentrated in the spaces dedicated to ceremonial activities and in the residences of the elite (Salazar and Burger 2004b Salkantay trek). The latter present the classic form of architecture known as a court, which corresponds to rectangular complexes with a single entrance, an open central courtyard, and several roofed buildings with interior spaces for various activities. The courts belonged to the elite, as evidenced by the use of double jamb openings and walls with finely cut and polished lithic elements. Likewise, many courts also have domestic shrines. For the masonry of these domestic constructions and other fine constructions, it was used the granite present on the site. Likewise, it is possible that specialists from the highlands may have participated in its Inca construction.

Bingham’s excavations during 1912 concentrated on the elite residential area and the ceremonial sector of Machu Picchu. The ceramic remains found in these areas respond predominantly to the classical stylistic conventions of the Incas, the same ones that were used in wonderful Cuzco, the capital of the empire (Salazar and Burger 2004a: 126-156 salkantay trek operator). Therefore, the architecture and ceramics in the central sector of Machu Picchu respond to the classic Inca style, symbolizing the identity of the Inca ethnic group that transformed the Tawantinsuyu in an Inca empire. Authors such as Manuel Chávez Ballón (1971) and Tom Zuidema (1990), among others, have pointed out that the design of Machu Picchu shares many characteristics with Cuzco and some provincial Inca sites.

The available ethnohistorical evidence indicates that one of the prerogatives of the Inca panaka responsible for the conquest of new territories and their populations was to assign a number of individuals from the conquered group for their own service or to hand them over to other panacas as an act of generosity (Betanzos 1987). [1551-1557]: 50 Salkantay trek operator). The evidence of non- Cuzco materials in the cemeteries of Machu Picchu is an indicator of the presence of non-Inca ethnic groups as Yanaconas and Mitimaes.

In the Inca sociopolitical structure, yanacona was the term used for servants or servants assigned to the ruling elite (Betanzos 1987 [1551-1557]: 50 peru operator). The camayoc category was applied to specialists (Espinoza 1978: 231-247, 1987: 217-219; Spurling 1992: 232). The social and economic status of people in these categories apparently varied according to the prestige associated with their individual roles as elite servants, administrative advisers, and artisans (mostly goldsmiths, potters, and weavers). The tombs at Machu Picchu seem to correspond to Yanaconas of an ethnic origin diverse; some of which it will be argued were probably camayoc.

Analysis of the human remains indicates that men and women are represented in a ratio of 1:1.54, rather than the radically skewed 1:4 figure calculated by Eaton (1916). In addition, it was defined that some women had given birth and identified numerous skeletons corresponding to fetuses, infants, and small children (Verano 2003: 143-152). These findings allow us to rule out Bingham’s theory that Machu Picchu was a place for “chosen women” (acllahuasi) and that the buried women had been dedicated to the cult of the sun – Salkantay trek operator.





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