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23-Oct-2017 21:38 by 2 Comments

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However, it has been found that the terrace farming area makes up only about 12 acres of land, and a study of the soil around the terraces showed that what was grown there was mostly corn and potatoes, which was not enough to support the 750 people living at Machu Picchu.

This suggests that several of the immigrants were from more coastal areas and moved to Machu Picchu where corn was a larger portion of food intake.

The skeletal remains found at Machu Picchu are also unique in their level of natural bone damage from laborious activities.

Most people found at the site had lower levels of arthritis and bone fractures found in most sites of the Inca Empire.

Most likely, these animals were brought in from the Puna region Studies have shown that much of the farming done at Machu Picchu was done on the hundreds of man-made terraces there.

These terraces were a work of considerable engineering, built to ensure good drainage and soil fertility while also protecting the mountain itself from erosion and landslides.

The terraces received so much rain that they were built specifically to allow for ample drainage of the extra water.

Excavation and soil analyses done by Kenneth Wright in the 90's showed that the terraces were built in layers, with a bottom layer of larger stones covered by loose gravel.On top of the gravel was a layer of mixed sand and gravel packed together, with rich topsoil covering all of that.It was proven that the topsoil was probably moved from the valley floor to the terraces because it was much more rich than the soil higher up the mountain.It was only used for approximately 80 years before being abandoned seemingly due to destruction of the Spanish Conquests in other parts of the Inca Empire. Though the estate belonged to Pachacutec, religious specialists and temporary specialized workers (mayocs) lived there as well, most likely for the ruler's well-being and enjoyment.During the harsher season, staff dropped down to around a hundred servants and a few religious specialists focused only on maintenance.The conquistadors had notes of a place called Piccho, although no record of a Spanish visit exists.