Monday, September 12, 2005

Machu Picchu

Perched on a ridge in the Peruvian Andes, sixteen hundred feet above the river valley below, is the mysterious engineering marvel, Machu Picchu.
Here, without the use of the wheel or iron tools, Inca craftsmen constructed a city of stone. The site exemplifies Inca engineering at its best.

Designers constructed more than six hundred terraces to keep the city from sliding down the mountain. Hydraulic engineers built a 1/2 mile long water delivery system and masons erected temples incorporating some of the finest stonework in the entire new world.
But Machu Picchu has closely guarded its secrets. Its true identity and purpose concealed for over 400 years. Sometime in the 16th century the Inca abandoned Machu Picchu and the cloud forest consumed it, hiding it from the rest of the world.

It wasn't until 1911 that Hiram Bingham, an American archaeologist, discovered the awe-inspiring site. However, the find only brought questions. Reluctant to divulge its secrets, the site has continued to puzzle scientists for decades.

Who exactly built Machu Picchu and for what purpose? This program presents the most current theory.


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