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Machu Picchu is a pre-Columbian Inca site located 2,430 metres (8,000 ft) above sea level. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, which is 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Cuzco and through which the Urubamba River flows. The river is a partially navigable headwater of the Amazon River. Often referred to as "The Lost City of the Incas", Machu Picchu is one of the most familiar symbols of the Inca Empire.

The Incas started building it around AD 1430 but was abandoned as an official site for the Inca rulers a hundred years later, at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire. Although known locally, it was said to have been forgotten for centuries when the site was brought to worldwide attention in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, an American historian. Since then, Machu Picchu has become an important tourist attraction. It has recently come to light that the site may have been discovered and plundered several years previously, in 1867 by a German businessman, Augusto Berns. In fact, there is substantial evidence that a British missionary, Thomas Payne, and a German engineer, J. M. von Hassel, arrived earlier than Hiram, and maps found by historians show references to Machu Picchu as early as 1874.
 
 
Machu Picchu is a pre-Columbian Inca site located 2,430 metres (8,000 ft) above sea level. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, which is 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Cuzco and through which the Urubamba River flows. The river is a partially navigable headwater of the Amazon River. Often referred to as "The Lost City of the Incas", Machu Picchu is one of the most familiar symbols of the Inca Empire.

The Incas started building it around AD 1430 but was abandoned as an official site for the Inca rulers a hundred years later, at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire. Although known locally, it was said to have been forgotten for centuries when the site was brought to worldwide attention in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, an American historian. Since then, Machu Picchu has become an important tourist attraction. It has recently come to light that the site may have been discovered and plundered several years previously, in 1867 by a German businessman, Augusto Berns. In fact, there is substantial evidence that a British missionary, Thomas Payne, and a German engineer, J. M. von Hassel, arrived earlier than Hiram, and maps found by historians show references to Machu Picchu as early as 1874. More...

 
    Pizarro, Conqueror Inca Empire - 1531
  Pizarro, Conqueror Inca Empire - 1531
Francisco Pizarro was a Conquistador who seized the Inca empire for Spain. In 1510 he enrolled in an expedition of exploration in the New World, and three years later he joined Vasco Núñez de Balboa on the expedition that discovered the Pacific. He m...
 
    Atahualpa, Incan Emperor captured by Pizarro
  Atahualpa, Incan Emperor captured by Pizarro
Atahualpa (in hispanicized spellings) or Atawallpa (Quechua) was the last Sapa Inca (sovereign emperor) of the Tawantinsuyu (the Inca Empire) before the Spanish conquest. Atahualpa became emperor when he defeated and executed his older half-brother H...
 
    Bingham, Machu Picchu - 1911
  Bingham, Machu Picchu - 1911
Hiram Bingham III was an American academic, explorer and politician. He rediscovered the Inca settlement of Machu Picchu in 1911. Later, Bingham served as Governor of Connecticut and a member of the United States Senate. Machu Picchu has become o...
 
       
 
         
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