6 Machu Picchu Facts for Kids
Many kids have seen pictures or drawings of an area called Machu Picchu, but don’t really know what they’re looking at. Machu Picchu is an area of mountains in the country of Peru, and it’s known for its ancient buildings that look like brick pyramids. These buildings and structures were apparently built around 1450, and some believe they may have been a place for kings and queens to visit, and some believe they may have been used for human sacrifice.
The area of Machu Picchu was once inhabited by the Incas, people who were something like Native Americans. They lived in the mountains up until around the year 1572, when people from Spain moved in. It’s believed that many of the Incas died from smallpox, a very serious disease that was brought by the Spanish people. Even though the Spanish people had taken over the country of Peru, they left the area of Machu Picchu alone so that it was untouched for many centuries after that. Jungle vines grew over it and the structures that were built so that they stayed hidden all that time.
Around 1909 an explorer was traveling through Peru on his way back from a conference and he decided to go into the areas of Machu Picchu. That’s when he discovered the ruins, with more of them being found in the years that followed. They were guided by local people who showed them all the ruins that had been buried in the vines of the jungle.
Myths and Legends
It’s impossible to know exactly what the ruins at Machu Picchu were used for, but some believe it was a temple for people to worship the sun. After digging into the ruins, skeletons were found and they were almost all female, which led some to think that these women were sacrificed to the sun as part of their worship. However, some other experts believe that they may not have been all women skeletons and that instead of sacrifices, they may have been people who were buried there because they worked to maintain the temple while they were alive.
Some actually believe that Machu Picchu is a place where aliens once landed but others think it may have been a vacation spot for kings and queens. Whatever its use, Machu Picchu is a very beautiful site found in some very beautiful mountains.