Conclusion: Before the Incas abandoned Machu Picchu, they prevented the Spanish conquistadors from finding and conquering the citadel because the city was covered by vegetation, surrounded by miles of rural area, and had an unconventional location.
We confirm our hypothesis because the Spanish conquistadors were unable to discover Machu Picchu due to the citadel’s uncommon location, environment, architectural style, and its abandonment. Evidence collected before and during our visit to Machu Picchu enable this confirmation of our hypothesis. Our research leads us to the conclusion that the Spanish conquistadors could not find Machu Picchu due to the citadel’s location and architecture.
The strategic location of Machu Picchu enables its stealth and contributed greatly to the failure of Spanish colonizers to discover the city. The Incas positioned this citadel in a way where the vegetation and the surrounding mountains covered it from this skepticism that the Spanish may have had. The Incan architectural skills caused the houses and structures to be molded into the shape of the mountain (Cartwright, 2014, para. 6). Based on field observations, we can speculate that the dense vegetation that surrounded the citadel, caused it to remain undiscovered. In addition, another reason that kept Machu Picchu a secret from the Spanish is that the Incas left their city and moved to Paititi, which is a city hidden somewhere within the rainforests of southeast Peru, in order to distract the Spanish so that they could never find it (Dobson, 2016, para. 3). Furthermore, this contributed to the already stated fact of Machu Picchu being abandoned by the Incas and never encountered by the Spanish conquistadors due to its architecture and geography.
The architecture of Machu Picchu also prevented the Spanish conquistadors from finding and destroying the citadel. Machu Picchu unveils important information about the architectural style the Incas possessed. Due to the preservation of Machu Picchu, archeologists and historians are able to speculate that, “The complex of palaces and plazas, temples and homes may have been built as a ceremonial site, a military stronghold, or a retreat for ruling elites” (Reinhard, 2010, para. 2). As explained above the ingenuity of the Incas, the history of Machu Picchu was preserved, so historians were able to uncover more secrets that the culture hid about their lifestyle. In conclusion, Machu Picchu was a very important ceremonial site and that is why the Incas had it hidden and protected.