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Choquequirao[Quechua,=cradle of gold], IncaInca
, pre-Columbian empire, W South America. The name Inca may specifically refer to the emperor, but is generally used to mean the empire or the people. Extent and Organization of the Empire
..... Click the link for more information. site in Peru, about 95 mi (155 km) W of Cuzco. Lying at 9,950 ft (3,030 m), in the spurs of the Salkantay mountain range above the Apurímac River, it is similar in style and function to the better-known Machu PicchuMachu Picchu
, Inca site in Peru, about 50 mi (80 km) NW of Cuzco. It is perched high upon a rock in a narrow saddle between two sharp mountain peaks and overlooks the Urubamba River 2,000 ft (600 m) below.
..... Click the link for more information. , some 30 mi (50 km) to the east. It was built by Topa Inca, or Tupac Yupanqui (reigned 1471–93), the son of Pachacuti Yupanqui, who built Machu Picchu, and by his son Huayna Capac (reigned 1493–1525). The 4,450 acre (1,800 ha) site includes large terraces for agriculture, a small rectangular temple and other government buildings, living quarters for priests and nobility around the central square, and clusters of smaller buildings for other residents. The flattened hilltop of Sunch'u Pata above the plaza was used for religious ceremonies.
The Spaniard Juan Arias Díaz was the first European to visit the site, in 1710. Other explorers rediscovered and mapped the site, but it was not until Hiram BinghamBingham, Hiram,
1875–1956, American archaeologist, historian, and statesman, b. Honolulu; son of Hiram Bingham (1831–1908). He was educated at Yale (B.A., 1898), the Univ. of California (M.A., 1900), and Harvard (M.A., 1901; Ph.D.
..... Click the link for more information. , the discoverer of Machu Picchu, visited in 1909, that Choquequirao gained wider attention. Excavations at the site were begun in the 1970s, and restoration started in 1993.