Sacred Valley

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The Sacred Valley of the Incas, El Valle Sagrado de los Incas
Machu Picchu
Sacred Valley of the Incas

The Sacred Valley of the Incas or the Urubamba Valley is a valley in the Andes of Peru, close to the Inca capital of Cusco and the ancient city of Machu Picchu. It is located in the present-day Peruvian region of Cusco. In colonial documents it is referred to as the "Valley of Yucay." According to recent research it encompasses the heartland of the Inca Empire.[1]

The valley is generally understood to include everything between Calca and Lamay, Písac, and Ollantaytambo. The valley was formed by the Urubamba River, also known as Willkanuta River (Aymara, "house of the sun") or Willkamayu (Quechua). The latter, in Quechua, the still spoken lingua franca of the Inca Empire, means the sacred river. It is fed by numerous rivers which descend through adjoining valleys and gorges, and contains numerous archaeological remains and villages. The valley was appreciated by the Incas due to its special geographical and climatic qualities. It was one of the empire's main points for the extraction of natural wealth, and one of the most important areas for maize production in Peru northwards from Pisac. The early Incas may have come from Wimpillay, as their mummies had been discovered there.[2] Large scale maize production started around 1400 as Inca urban agriculture[3] based on varieties bred in Moray, either a governmental crop lab[4] or a seedling nursery of the Incas.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bauer, Brian S.; Covey, R. Alan (2002). "Processes of State Formation in the Inca Heartland (Cuzco, Peru) o". American Anthropologist. 104 (3): 846–64. doi:10.1525/aa.2002.104.3.846. 
  2. ^ Alan Covey, R (2003). "A processual study of Inka state formation". Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. 22 (4): 333–57. doi:10.1016/S0278-4165(03)00030-8. 
  3. ^ Protzen, Jean Pierre (1993). Inca architecture and construction at Ollantaytambo. New York: Oxford University Press. [page needed]
  4. ^ Earles, John (1989). Planificación agrícola andina: bases para un manejo cibernético de sistemas de andenes. Lima, Perú: Ediciones COFIDE. OCLC 21794150. [page needed]
  5. ^ Plachetka, Uwe Christian; Pietsch, Stephan A. (2009). "El centro vaviloviano en el Perú: un conjunto socio-ecológico frente a riesgos extremos" [The center Vavilov year in Peru: a socio-ecological set against extreme risks] (PDF). Tikpa Pachapaq (in Spanish). 1 (1): 9–16. 

Coordinates: 13°20′S 72°05′W / 13.333°S 72.083°W / -13.333; -72.083