Interpreting Machu PicchuLost City of the Incas
Dr. Johan Reinhard, Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society and Senior Research Fellow at the Mountain Institute, Washington, D.C.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Second Floor North American Mammal Hall
Los Angeles, CA United States
Although Machu Picchu is one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites, it still remains a mystery. Even the most basic questions as to its meaning have long remained unanswered. In this presentation Dr. Reinhard will examine Machu Picchu from the perspective of sacred landscape and archaeoastronomy. Using information gathered from historical, archaeological, and ethnographical sources, he will demonstrate that the site is situated in the center of sacred mountains, several of which are associated with the sun’s passage. Taken together, these features have meant that Machu Picchu formed a cosmological and sacred geographical center for a vast region. Dr. Reinhard will then examine some key architectural features at Machu Picchu and nearby sites and interpret them as forming parts of this ceremonial center, where economic, political, and religious factors combined to lead to their construction in one of the most rugged areas of Peru.
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Sponsor(s): Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and the Natural History Museum