Thursday, October 8, 2009
they built it - and we come
I, along with hundreds of others, visit Machu Picchu. It doesn’t matter that there are so many of us climbing around and being in each other's way; we’re in a spectacular place and we don’t know exactly why it was or what. We can read the speculations of archaeologists and historians. It was a winter palace. It served a religious purpose. Or maybe the Inca Pachacútec had this place built in the mid-15th century to get away from Cusco’s damp. Archaeologists are working on Inca sites and their finds will probably change or add to our interpretations, but we can say this of Machu Picchu - it works with the mountains. This city fits with the surroundings, and when one takes care to consider the mountains they produce some fine architecture. Carved stones track the sun, celestial bodies, and seasonal alignments. People lived here and grew food, and were buried here, up here! That’s what we’ve come to see.