August 7, 2012
Here’s my question: how did such small people move such huge stones?! Seriously.
On a recent weekend in Peru, a group of us took the opportunity to visit Machu Picchu, an experience that ranks among the most inspiring of my life. For those of you who have not yet visited this World Heritage Site, here’s a little background:
To begin, in Quechua, Machu Picchu is actually pronounced /machu pikchu/, and it means “old mountain”. It is a pre-Columbian Inca site in the Cuzco region of Peru. It sits at a majestic 8,000 feet above sea level, and is considered one of the most sophisticated Inca sites known today. Its original use is uncertain; however, here are a couple of the common theories. First, because of the detailing and sophistication of the stonework, it is thought by some to have been a site of great significance such as a royal palace or retreat, housing only Incan royalty and their servants and caregivers. A second theory is that it may have been a major trade hub between the mountainous highlands and the more tropical jungle.
As we hiked around the site all day, it was incredible to think of the hands that crafted and placed the carefully laid stones, the people who walked the paths we now walked, and the sophisticated engineering and forethought that went into a site of such intricacy. ~Katie Holmberg