21. Why did earthquakes not destroy Machu Picchu?

Introduction: Investigating Machu Picchu’s resilience to seismic activity.

Machu Picchu, situated in the Peruvian Andes, is an ancient site that has withstood several earthquakes over the centuries. The site’s survival has piqued the interest of many, who wonder what could have contributed to its stability. In this article, we will explore the factors that could have protected Machu Picchu from earthquake damage.

Inca engineering: Advanced construction techniques and earthquake-resistant design.

The Inca civilization was known for its advanced engineering and construction techniques. They used stones to create massive walls, and they were skilled in stone carving, shaping, and fitting. They built their structures with earthquake-resistant design in mind, such as the use of trapezoidal doorways, which can absorb and distribute seismic energy. They also used foundation stones, which were placed at different angles to provide better stability.

Stone fitting: The precision of interlocking stones in Inca architecture.

The Inca civilization had mastered the art of interlocking stones with great precision. They used a technique known as ashlar masonry, which involves carving stones to fit perfectly with one another. The stones are carefully shaped to ensure that there are no gaps between them, which makes them less likely to shift or move during an earthquake.

Flexibility: The ability of structures to withstand seismic forces.

Another factor that has contributed to Machu Picchu’s resilience to earthquakes is the flexibility of the structures. The Inca structures were designed with a certain amount of flexibility, which allows them to sway during an earthquake without breaking. The flexibility is achieved by using small stones on the outside of the walls, which act as a buffer and absorb the seismic energy.

Conservation efforts: Modern measures to maintain and protect the site.

Machu Picchu has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is now protected and conserved by the Peruvian government. The conservation efforts include regular inspections, monitoring, and maintenance of the structures. The government has also restricted the number of visitors to the site, which helps to preserve the structures and the surrounding environment.

Conclusion: Recognizing the factors contributing to Machu Picchu’s earthquake resistance.

In conclusion, Machu Picchu’s resilience to earthquakes is due to a combination of factors. The Inca engineering techniques, the precision of stone fitting, the flexibility of the structures, and the modern conservation efforts have all contributed to its survival. Machu Picchu’s earthquake resistance is a testament to the Inca civilization’s skill and ingenuity and a reminder of the importance of conservation efforts in preserving our world’s cultural heritage.