Machu Picchu is the name of the uptown fort of the Inca Empire. The name means "Old Mountain", and it refers to one of two mountains on which Machu Picchu lies—the other is Huayna Picchu (Young Mountain), located 3,000 feet above the Urubamba Valley in Peru.
Machu Picchu lies on a perennially cloud-draped point between the two peaks, part of the royal estate of the Inca king Pachacuti [AD 1438-1471]. The site is made up of single buildings agreed in groups, along streets, adjacent to plazas and terraces. Most of the buildings are residences, some of white granite masonry such as that seen in the city of Cuzco. Some of the buildings, which must have been built for special purposes, are partly carved into the bedrock and partly built from finely cut white granite.Machu Picchu discovered
Hiram Bingham (1875-1956), a US academic, adventurer, treasure hunter, and archaeologist, set off in search of this ‘lost city of the Incas’. His expedition team included a geologist/geographer, a naturalist, a surgeon, a topographer, and an engineer. This reflected the challenge: a deep trek into unmapped, Central Andes mountain-forest.
Bingham was led by native guides to a site only accessible down rocky paths with precipitous drops on either side. On a saddle-ridge between two mountain peaks, with the gorge of the River Urubamba 600m below, he was shown, amid dense thickets, the terraces, stairs, and buildings of an Inca site formed of massive blocks of monumental masonry.
When the Incas built Machu Picchu they shaped the stones of the buildings so exact that to this day you can't fit a thin knife between the stones. The stones aren't staying together because of mortar but because of pure craftsmanship.
The homes were shaped like a pentagonal prism. The strange thing about the building in Machu Picchu is they were built without roofs. Some of the buildings were built in a rectangular prism shapes. The doors of most of the buildings were trapezoid shaped. The only buildings with roofs were the homes that were on the outside of Machu Picchu, they were very small huts, and the Sapa Inca's temples.