Machu Picchu’s Agricultural Sector

Since November is National Indigenous Heritage Month we want to feature an archaeological site that is pretty well known, Machu Picchu, Peru. However, while most people know that it was a ceremonial place for the Incan empire, they may not know that it was also likely a place of agricultural innovation. In fact, there is a whole area that the Incans devoted to agriculture. Through the archaeological evidence, we can see the intelligence and creativity of the Incans as they navigated the steep Andean Mountains.

Machu Picchu Agricultural Terraces

 The agricultural area is comprised of cultivation terraces that look like large step platforms following the incline of the mountain. These platforms were made of many layers of material such as mulch, sand, and gravel that facilitated drainage and prevented flooding which would cause landslides. Additionally, the steps utilized natural drainage as an irrigation system directly from channels that connected the levels. The terraces also maximized the amount of land Incans were able to use to cultivate crops.  The agricultural sector is divided from the urban area of the site by a long 400- meter retaining wall with a water drainage channel to prevent land erosion. By creating these terraces, the Incans could develop and adapt their agricultural practices to the surrounding landscape without worrying about landslides. 

Estela Cóndor
grows five different
varieties of potatoes
to sell in the market,
along with a yellow
tuber called mashua
tuberosum ) that she
cooks for her family.
– Image credit: Jim
Richardson, National

Machu Picchu resides in a subtropical climate making the environment mild, warm, and damp. This climate made it perfect for cultivating large amounts of crops. While there is still some debate on if this specific area was where the pinnacle of agricultural innovation occurred, it is true that there were many different types of crops grown at this site leading archaeologists to believe that the indigenous people of the Andes experimented with agriculture more than any other group in the world. In fact, today there are over 3,000 varieties of the potato found in the Andes alone including species such as Pitiquina, Limena, and Phureja. Some of these potatoes were even used to treat headaches and skin rashes.  Not to mention the numerous tomato and pepper varieties that we have in the world today. Most of this innovation and variation is due to the experimental agriculture of the Incans and the other indigenous groups that inhabited Central and South America.

So, if you’re looking for someone to thank when you eat mashed potatoes or french fries, it’s probably the Incans. And, if you plan on visiting Machu Picchu make sure you ask the tour guides about the agricultural innovations that occurred on the very land you’re walking on. 


Further Reading: 

Indian Givers: How Native Americans Transformed the World by Jack Weatherford

13 comments to Machu Picchu’s Agricultural Sector

  1. Rk Shastri says:

    Absolutely good post, really i am proud of you. thanks for sharing
    Intercast love marriage problem solutions

  2. Subhash Shastri says:

    A must read post! Good way of describing and pleasure piece of writing. Thanks!
    Husband Wife Problem Solutions

  3. Jk Shastri says:

    I just wanted to mention I adore it every time visiting your excellent post! Very effective and very correct. Loving your blog. It is refreshing to read this.

    Get Your Love Back By Hypnotism

  4. Novel Web Solution says:

    Hey, I lately came to this internet site and I’ve visited it daily because that so that you can remain up to date. Maintain up the great function. 
    2D 3D Animation Video Editing Services In Jaipur

  5. novelwebcreation says:

    Incredibly useful and detailed information. You are growing rapidly and it shows in your blogs.

    Best eCommerce Photography In Jaipur

  6. expertastrologysolution says:

    Thanks for sharing this informative content , Great work
    love astrology consultation

  7. Pt Ram Gopal Shastri  says:

    Nice Post! I geld to read this amazing topic; it is very useful and informative post you shared.
    World famous love astrologers

  8. Dainik Astrology says:

    You have lots of great content that is helpful to gain more knowledge. Best wishes.
    lucky/lotto/lottery number specialist

  9. casawoodz says:

    A must read post! Good way of describing and pleasure piece of writing. Thanks!
    Sofa Set Buy online

  10. AMD Dental Clinic says:

    I’m thinking some of my readers might find a bit of this interesting and very helpful article post to me. I am really so happy with this. Thank you and Good luck dear admin.
    Dental Implant Treatment In Jaipur

  11. maharanacab says:

    Perfect Information, Thanks and its good. Easy understanding
    Jaipur Sightseeing Package

  12. Astro Life Solution says:

    Thank you for sharing this fantastic article.
    Lottery Number Specialist Astrologer

  13. radha shetty says:

    Thank you for giving this information. This is a fantastic and fascinating piece. SevenMentor Institute provides professional German Language Course in Pune to both the students and corporate aspirants. The staff of native German speakers and professional linguists at SevenMentor Institute has more than ten years of combined experience in the domains of corporate, linguistic, and cultural translation, interpretation, and editing.
    German Language Course In Pune

Comments are closed.