Machu Picchu, the Forgotten City Illustration

Inca Empire for Kids
Machu Picchu
The Forgotten City

Over 100 years ago, archaeologists made an incredible find, high in the Andes Mountains. They found an entire city that had not been destroyed by the Spanish invaders. This forgotten city is named Machu Picchu. It is a huge tourist attraction in modern day Peru today.

Archaeologists found ruins of temples, palaces, fortresses, pottery, statues, and all kinds of artifacts. It was incredible! This find told archaeologists and scientists a great deal about the ancient Inca civilization.

One of the most exciting finds was the first thing explorers found as they entered the forgotten city. It was an Intihuatana. An Intihuatana was pyramid built so the Inca could speak to their gods. Priests used the flat top of the pyramid to conduct ceremonies. Archaeologists noted that palace balconies faced the flat rock at the top of the pyramid. They suspect this was done so that nobles could watch ceremonies from the comfort of a seat on their own balcony.

Legend says: The Intihuatana was magically connected to the sun, holding on to it tightly by a long magical vine, so the sun could not drift away entirely. Each morning, the magical vine gently pulled the sun back into place, until it arrived overhead, to help the crops grow and to warm the chosen ones, the Children of the Sun.  Each night, the sun floated away again, only to be pulled back into place the next morning.

Intihuatana Stone

Incas for Kids