Which Ancient Civilization Built the City of Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu is a world-famous ancient city located high in the Andes Mountains of Peru. It is one of the most visited tourist destinations in South America and is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

But which ancient civilization built this incredible city? Let’s explore.

The History of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu was built in the 15th century, during the height of the Inca Empire. The Inca people were known for their incredible engineering skills and their ability to build complex structures without the use of mortar. Machu Picchu was constructed using this technique, which allowed it to withstand earthquakes and other natural disasters.


After the fall of the Inca Empire to Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, Machu Picchu was abandoned and forgotten for centuries. It wasn’t until 1911 that American explorer Hiram Bingham stumbled upon the city while searching for Vilcabamba, an Inca stronghold.

Inca Civilization

While Machu Picchu is often associated with Hiram Bingham, it was actually built by the Inca civilization. The Inca Empire was one of the largest and most advanced civilizations in South America before it fell to Spanish conquistadors in 1572.

Fun Fact: The name “Machu Picchu” means “Old Mountain” in Quechua, which is an indigenous language spoken by many people in South America today.

The Inca Building Techniques

The Inca people were famous for their impressive building techniques. They were able to construct massive stone structures without using any mortar or cement. Instead, they cut each stone perfectly so that it would fit together with its neighboring stones like a puzzle.

The stones used at Machu Picchu are some of the largest ever found in an Inca structure. Some of the stones weigh over 50 tons and were transported from miles away. The fact that the Inca people were able to move and fit these massive stones together so perfectly is a testament to their incredible engineering skills.

The Purpose of Machu Picchu

The exact purpose of Machu Picchu is still a mystery, but many historians believe that it was a royal estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti. It is also believed to have been a center for religious ceremonies and astronomical observations.


In conclusion, Machu Picchu was built by the Inca civilization in the 15th century. The Inca people were known for their impressive building techniques and their ability to construct complex structures without the use of mortar. While the purpose of Machu Picchu remains a mystery, its incredible architecture and stunning location continue to fascinate visitors from around the world.