The Fall and Rise of Machu Picchu

Standing 7,970 feet above sea level in the Andes mountains of Peru, the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu is probably among the most recognized and celebrated archaeological sites in the world. Its fame is not simply a result of its breathtaking (quite literally) location and stunning views but the remarkable story of its role at the time of the Spanish conquest. As the Inca empire fell, Machu Picchu was abandoned and, as a consequence, never found, occupied or destroyed. The forest covered the city and, when it was uncovered in 1911, a stunningly preserved example of the mastery of Inca architecture was revealed. Machu Picchu now stands as a testament to the skill and complexity of indigenous civilizations in the Americas.

Kristina Baines is our resident cool anthropologist. She’s been formally trained in applied, sociocultural, ecological and medical anthropology at Florida Atlantic University (BA, MA), the University of Oxford (MSc) and the University of South Florida (PhD). She has a strong interest in corn, how what we do in our environment makes us well, and using innovative methods to make anthropology relevant and accessible to a wide audience. You can find out more about how these interests translate into projects and pursuits by perusing the rest of our site, or you can contact her directly at

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