Our project was inspired by the unique and innovative tribes that built the world famous tourist site that is Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu was voted one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World in 2007 and in this project we hope to discuss the rich history behind the sacred city. and the reason for the preservation of Machu Picchu by exploring its relationship with UNESCO and the Peruvian government. We would also like to try an get an insight into the minds of such an incredibly fascinating people by examining their breakthrough advances in the fields of medicine and construction.
Machu Picchu was built in the 1400s by the Incas. Archaeologists have speculated that Machu Picchu was a ...view middle of the document...
After that the constructors waited until the wet wooden wedges froze. The ice having bigger volume than water, forces the rock and creates fissures. But the wooden wedge technique cannot explain the smoothness and perfect straightness of the bricks.” (Rediscover Machu Picchu). Granite,the main rock used, is very hard to cut and even with today's modern technology it can take hours to do so. Most of Machu Picchu's stone steps are carved out of a single piece of granite, which is quite remarkable considering how difficult and time consuming it must have been. Irrigation systems were also in place and ran between buildings and at the edges of the city. (Rediscover Machu Picchu)
Abandonment and Discovery
The city of Machu Picchu was built at the height of the Inca Empire, but it was in use for less than 100 years, around the time of the Spanish conquest of Peru. It was then abandoned in the early sixteenth century. However, it is interesting to note that Spanish conquerors never found Machu Picchu and despite plundering many other Inca sites, this most sacred site remained a secret. (Destination: Machu Picchu)
Machu Picchu remained hidden away from the rest of the world until 1911 when an 11-year-old native boy led an American professor named Hiram Bingham to the site. Bingham went on to write a book about his findings called, “The Lost City of the Incas”. (Destination: Machu Picchu)
What measures have the Peruvian government taken to preserve their largest source of revenue?
Machu Picchu became a popular tourist site in the 195’s/1960’s. People arrived on train, foot and even helicopter. It wasn’t until 1981 that Machu Picchu became a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary, two years later UNESCO named Machu Picchu a world heritage site. There are two main threats that face Machu Picchu. The first is seasonal extreme weather. Mudslides and glacial erosion erode the carved granite and on the opposite end of the spectra in the dry seasons vegetation becomes very flammable. In 2008 Machu Picchu was threatened by a large forest fire in the valley below, over 600 firemen were needed to put out this fire. There have been measures taken to help preserve and protect the site from extreme weather conditions. Authorities in Peru led by SENAMHI (the National Weather Service of Peru) have acquired a network of 12 Vaisala's automatic weather stations. The systems are equipped to measure wind speed and direction, solar radiation, temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, and precipitation, and some of them are fitted with water level radar type sensors as well (vaisala).
"The objective of the project is to increase the preservation and protection systems in the Machu Picchu Sanctuary from the high vulnerability due to extreme weather and climate events", says Mayor General FAP (vaisala).
Tourists are of course the second most influencing factor. Over 2’000 tourists pass through the heritage site every day. Predictably, the tourist boom has...