The iconic tourist site Machu Picchu in Peru was shut down recently, due to the ongoing anti-government protests that are spreading throughout the South American nation.
About Machu Picchu:
- It is a 15th-century Inca site.
- Location: Machu Picchu is located 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Cuzco, Peru, in the Cordillera de Vilcabamba of the Andes Mountains.
- Machu Picchu is believed to have been built by Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, the ninth ruler of the Inca, in the mid-1400s.
- It is made up of temples, palaces, terraces, monuments, complexes and walls.
- The city is divided into a lower and upper part, separating the farming from residential areas, with a large square between the two.
- Machu Picchu was abandoned when the Inca Empire was conquered by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century.
- Machu Picchu was rediscovered in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham.
- It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.
What is the Inca Civilization?
- Inca Civilization flourished in ancient Peru between c. 1400 and 1533 CE.
- It is the largest empire ever seen in the Americas and the largest in the world at that time.
- Inca society was highly stratified.
- The emperor ruled with the aid of an aristocratic bureaucracy.
- Inca technology and architecture were highly developed.
- Their economy was based on agriculture.
- The Inca religion combined features of animism, fetishism, and the worship of nature gods.
- The Inca language Quechua is still spoken by around eight million people in the world.
- The descendants of the Inca are the present-day Quechua-speaking peasants of the Andes, who constitute around 45 percent of the population of Peru.
Q1) What is a UNESCO World Heritage site?
World Heritage site is recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). These sites are cultural and/or natural sites of ‘Outstanding Universal Value’, which are important across countries and generations.