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Machu Picchu Areas (Agricultural, Urban & Quarry)

Posted on : 26 May 2021

Machu Picchu Areas

The Inca city of Machu Picchu is divided into three archaeological zones: The Agricultural zone, the urban zone, and the quarry zone, below I will explain each one of them:

Machu Picchu Agricultural AreaAgricultural area: This area includes the platforms (cultivation terraces built by the Incas), they look like large steps built respecting the steep shape of the mountain. They are stone walls filled with different layers of material (large stones, small stones, gravel, clay, and farmland) that facilitate drainage, preventing its structure from collapsing. According to scientific studies, plants were grown on these platforms until the first decade of the 20th century.

Some platforms are not agricultural, this area of ​​platforms are small and is located around the entire city. Its main function was to serve as a retaining wall.

Machu Picchu Urban AreaUrban area: The agricultural area and the city are divided by a wall of about 400 meters. At the foot of this wall runs a water drainage channel. At the top of the wall is the entrance door to Machu Picchu, it should be noted that the entrance door could only be secured and opened from the inside.

The urban area is divided into two: The Hanan sector (high) and the urin sector (low) according to the traditional bipartition of society and the Andean hierarchy. The two zones are divided by a long square.

  • Hanan sector 
    • The curved enclosure of the Temple of the Sun or Torreón.
    • The structure known as the Main Temple.
    • Intihuatana of Machu Picchu.
    • Royal residencie
    • Sacred square
  • Hurin sector
    • Sacred rock
    • Group of the three covers
    • Group of mortars or acllahuasi
    • Group of the condor
    • Stairway of the fountains

Machu Picchu Quarry AreaQuarry areas: This area is made up of six rooms, connected by a staircase. These are rustic constructions, due to their type of architecture (rough) it is believed that this area was destined to house the workers, guardians, artisans, and farmers.

Some findings in this area confirm that its use for the daily life of the lower and working class of the Inca empire, being thus found: pots, jugs of chicha, kitchen tools. Also, various half-carved rocks have been found scattered throughout this area.

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