Who Built Machu Picchu and Why?
|The second great Inca Emperor Pachacuti Inca (ruled 1438 - 1471).|
When Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu he thought it might have been built by the last Inca Emperor, Thupa Amaru sometime before his death in 1572.
Later archeologists feel that it was actually built by Pachacuti Inca in 1460 to 1470 as both a royal and religious retreat. They do know its location, high on a remote secondary road in nearly impassable terrain high above the Urubamba River canyon cloud forest — almost ensured that it would have no administrative, commercial or military use, so it must have existed just for the use of the Emperor.
Archeologist also feel that it might have been abandoned around 1527. They know that the Emperor, Huayna Capac, and about 50% of the population died that about that time because of small pox. They feel that later Emperors decided to build their own retreats rather than use one that was so remote and difficult to maintain.