Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Movie Review ****The Ghost of Machu Pichu: Nova National Geographic

This is a 2010 movie talking about the recent research and theory with regards to Machu Pichu.  I visited Machu Pichu 1978.  We climbed the smaller peak Huayna Picchu, and looked down at the river. They did not know as much of what they now know.  The movie concludes that Machu Pichu was built as a resort for the first ruler of the Inca, Sapa Inca Pachacuti.  There were some amazing discoveries at the site.  I found the laying of the foundation the most interesting.  Fully 60 percent of the construction is under ground.  Building on the ridge of a high mountain, in a place with tropical rainstorms, there must have been concern anything they built would wash away.  Consequently they started at the base building terraces.  These terraces had topsoil on top, then sand and finally granite boulders.  This allowed the rain to slowly sink into the ground rather than running off.  Similarly the green at the top had the same features, and served as a natural underground run off for the rain.  There were also drains placed in the construction of the terraces. 
Just as remarkable is the system of fountains that is at the site.  There is a nearby stream, and water from this was diverted through a ditch and fountains to allow for a steady flow that would support up to 1000 people.  The fist fountain was by the residence of the emperor, giving him the freshest water.
There are things of religious note about the site.  There are many temples honoring the sun, moon etc.  There are large stones, shaped like surrounding peaks.  There are four peak gods of the Inca, and the highest point of the site has a point which is at the center point of these four mountains.
The anthopologist who examined the skeletons concluded they were of a middle class.  As lack of arthritic indicators points to their not being laborers, but their diet points to there being middle class.  The conclusion is they were support staff for the emperor and his entourage.  However the Incan kingdom was devestated by small pox and internal schism before the Spanish actually conquered them.  Because of this it is likely the empire could no longer support the resort.  For this reason it was forgotten by the Spanish, and not destroyed as most others cities were.

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