Peru has three of the eight Lost Cities of the world: Machu Picchu, Chan Chan and Caral. These archaeological sites are among the most fascinating cities to visit.
Machu Picchu is the lost city more popular, largely unknown to the outside world until its discovery in 1911. Caral is one of the oldest cities in America and lost its unique feature is that it had a large central public area was surrounded by platforms or pyramids. Finally Chan Chan is the largest city in pre-Columbian America.
In Peru, among other activities may become Dr. Henry Walton aka “Indiana Jones” and make a journey to discover the treasures and history of these old buildings.
From 5000 years old, 626 hectare archaeological site, the Sacred City of Caral-Supe is situated on a dry desert terrace overlooking the green valley of the Supe river. Its origins date back to the Late Archaic Period of the Central Andes, and is the oldest center of civilization in the Americas. Exceptionally well preserved, the site is impressive in terms of design and the complexity of its architecture, especially monumental stone and earthen platform with circular cuts.
One of 18 urban settlements situated in the same area, with the architectural features of Caral, monumental complex, including six large pyramidal structures. A quipu (the knot system used in Andean civilizations to record information) found on the site testifies to the development and complexity of Caral society. The plan of the city and some of its components, including pyramidal structures and residential elite, show clear evidence of ceremonial functions of a religious nature.
During its heyday, around 600 years ago, Chan Chan in northern Peru, was the largest city in the Americas and the largest adobe city in the land. Ten thousand structures, some with walls 30 feet high, were woven amidst a maze of alleyways and streets. The palaces and temples were decorated with elaborate friezes, some of which were hundreds of feet tall. Chan Chan was fabulously wealthy, despite lacking precious resource: water.
Located near the town of Trujillo in the Pacific coast, Chan Chan was the capital of the Chimu civilization, which existed from the year 850 to about 1470. The metropolis of adobe was the power center of an empire that stretched 600 miles from southern Ecuador to central Peru. In the 15th century, about 60,000 people lived in Chan Chan, mostly workers who provided services to a powerful monarch, and the privileged classes of highly skilled craftsmen and priests. The Chimu followed a strict hierarchy based on the belief that all men are created equal. According to the myth Chimú, Sun populated the world by creating three eggs: the gold for the ruling elite, the silver for their wives and the rest copper.
Machu Picchu is remarkable that attracted the world’s attention only in 1911. The Spanish invaders of the time of the conquest and centuries of colonial rule never discovered the city, suggesting that the site had been abandoned for a long time and cast into oblivion. It was Hiram Bingham, North American born in Hawaii on November 19, 1875, was the one who discovered it. He had a good education, a degree from Yale University in 1898, a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1905 and then spent a year as a tutor at the University of Princeton.
According to Bingham, who had entered the marvelous canyon of the Urubamba below the Inca fortress described it thus: “I know of no place in the world that can compare not only had great snow peaks looming above the clouds more than two air miles; gigantic sheer granite cliffs of many colors of thousands of meters above the bright foaming, rapid noises, orchids and ferns, the exquisite beauty of its lush vegetation and the mysterious charm of the jungle. One is irresistibly drawn to the recurring surprises through a deep, winding gorge, turning on cliffs hanging incredible heights. ”