Ancient History

Ruins in South America

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"Ruins in South America"
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Everyone has heard of the Great Wall of China or the Egyptian Pyramids. The Colosseum in Rome is very famous. There is also the ruins at Ankor Wat. Ancient civilizations have existed all over the world and many are only known by their ruins. What were the people like. Most of the ancient cultures were in Asia and Africa, but were any in the "New" World"? There are very few in North America, but lots down South. What are the most famous ancient ruins of South America.

Many would say it was the temple at Tikal or the Maya pyramids in Belize and Guatemala (They are actually bigger than the Great Pyramid in Egypt), but they would be wrong. Why? Because those are in Central America, not South! In the southern continent of the America's, the most famous is the Mighty Machu Picchu, Lost City of the Incas!

Machu Picchu, located on the top of Andes in the heart of Peru it was first documented in 1911 by Hiram Bingham,. Just about any tourist that ravels to Peru or South America hikes the Inca Trail and visits Machu Picchu. What it actually was, historians are still arguing, though most believe it was an estate for the last Inca Emperor. It was also declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983.

One of the great mysteries of Machu Picchu and all Inca ruins is that they were built on mountain tops using huge stones that weighed several tons, and done buy a culture that didn't use the wheel! Unlike the Egyptians that utilized pulleys, water weights and such the Incas had nothing similar, and yet hauled the rock thousands of feet almost straight up vertical cliffs. This amazing feet of strength is one of the reasons Machu Picchu is so famous in South America.

There are other ancient ruins in South America, places such as Tiwanaku (Tiahuanacu) near La Paz, Bolivia which is again a mystery civilization and located at high altitude, nothing is known about the builders. There is also Kuelap and Chan-Chan as well as the other "Lost City" of Peru discovered by an airplane pilot in 1976. There are all fascinating and as intriguing as Machu Picchu, but not as famous! Are there others? Of course, just check with any archeologist!

Fame, that was the question, what are the most famous ancient ruins in South America. It can have only one answer, Machu Picchu!

More about this author: James Johnson

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