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Machu Picchu: Exploring an Ancient Sacred Center

Johan Reinhard

Machu Picchu is one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites, yet it remains a mystery. Even the most basic questions have long remained unanswered: What was its meaning and why was it built in such a difficult location? This full-color book examines Machu Picchu from the perspectives of sacred landscape and archaeoastronomy. Using information gathered from historical, archaeological, and ethnographical sources, the author demonstrates that the site is situated in the center of sacred mountains and is also associated with a sacred river, which is in turn symbolically linked with the sun’s passage. Taken together, these features have meant that Machu Picchu formed a cosmological, hydrological and sacred geographical center for a vast region. Key architectural features at Machu Picchu and nearby sites formed parts of this ceremonial center, where economic, political and religious factors combined to lead to their construction in one of the most rugged areas of Peru.

ISBN : 1931745447

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