On the morning of Sept. 28, 2021, the editorial team of The Korea Post media visited the Embassy of the Republic of Peru in Seoul for the presentation of Plaque of Citation to Ambassador Daul Matute-Mejia of Peru for the unreserved efforts and contributions made to the successful publication of an extensive Special Report on Peru and bilateral relations, cooperation and friendship with Korea. The special report was published on the occasion of the Independence Day of Peru on July 28.
(See related stories and pictures on Peru and Korea-Peru relations, cooperation and friednship at
http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=24102 [English] and http://www.koreapost.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=24135 [Korean].).
Ambassador Matutue-Mejia is considered a very ‘Korea-friendly’ ambassador in Korea for his unreserved interest in the Korean culture as well as bilateral cooperation in the economic and various other fields. In particular, Ambassador Matute-Mejia is known as a ‘lover of Korean food and beverage’ and often treats his friends at the Korean restaurants near the Embassy in Seoul.
He is also known to make it a rule to attend and participate in as many cultural and other events hosted by the metropolitan and local governors and leaders.
At the presentation meeting on Sept. 28, Ambassador Matute-Mejia had a schedule to attend a local event. He said, “I will visit Yeosu, Jeollanam-do Province on Sept. 29 to attend the 2021 Urban Environmental Accords (UEA) Yeosu Summit to be held from Sept. 29 through Oct. 1.”
Under the theme of "Sustainable City through the Realization of Carbon Neutrality," the event is hosted by Yeosu City and organized by the UEA Secretariat.
“After participating in the UEA Yeosu Summit,” he s aid, “I will meet with Mayor Kwon Oh-bong of Yeosu City and seek ways to promote bilateral cooperation between Yeosu City and Peru.”
While talking about his experience as a diplomat, Ambassador Matute-Mejia said, “Whenever I am assigned to a new foreign country as a diplomat, I check the three important matters of the country--marketplace, cemetery and mythology.”
“By visiting a marketplace, I learn and understand lifestyle, foods and customs of the people of the foreign country. And I learn and guess the country’s history and the people’s way of thinking at present and in the future through cemetery and mythology.”
When name, Peru, is mentioned, the most immediate thing that comes to one’s mind is the Inca Civilization, especially Machu Picchu. Ambassador extensively introduced all the wonderful aspects of one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Following a memorial picture-taking in front of a huge picture of the remains of the Inca Civilization at the Embassy, Ambassador Matute-Mejia introduced various aspects of Machu Picchu.
On Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, Ambassdor Matute-Mejia said, “It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and was selected as one of the seven wonders of the new world in 2007.”
He added, “Machu Picchu was built in the Inca classical style. It was built by stacking stones without using any adhesives or mortar, and the main buildings include a sundial, a temple of the sun, and a room of three windows.”
According to Wikipdia, Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel located in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru on a 2,430-meter (7,970 ft) mountain ridge. It is located in the Machupicchu District within Urubamba Province above the Sacred Valley, which is 80 kilometers (50 mi) northwest of Cuzco. The Urubamba River flows past it, cutting through the Cordillera and creating a canyon with a tropical mountain climate.
For most speakers of English or Spanish, the first 'c' in Picchu is silent. In English, the name is pronounced mɑtʃu ˈpitʃu.
Most archeologists believe that Machu Picchu was constructed as an estate for the Inca Emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often mistakenly referred to as the "Lost City of the Incas," it is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. The Incas built the estate around 1450 but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish conquest. According to the new AMS radiocarbon-dating, it was occupied from c. 1420-1532.
Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary structures are the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give visitors a better idea of how they originally appeared. By 1976, 30% of Machu Picchu had been restored and restoration continues.
Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historic Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide internet poll.
In the Quechua language, machu means "old" or "old person," while pikchu means either "portion of coca being chewed" or "pyramid, pointed multi-sided solid; cone." Thus, the name of the site is sometimes interpreted as "old mountain."
Machu Picchu was believed (by Richard L. Burger, professor of anthropology at Yale University) to have been built in the 1450s. However, a 2021 study led by Professor Burger used radiocarbon dating (specifically, AMS) to reveal that Machu Picchu may have been occupied from around 1420-1530 AD. Construction appears to date from two great Inca rulers, Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui (1438–1471) and Túpac Inca Yupanqui (1472–1493).
There is a consensus among archeologists that Pachacutec ordered the construction of the royal estate for his use as a retreat, most likely after a successful military campaign. Although Machu Picchu is considered to be a "royal" estate, surprisingly, it would not have been passed down in the line of succession.
Rather it was used for 80 years before being abandoned, seemingly because of the Spanish Conquests in other parts of the Inca Empire. It is possible that most of its inhabitants died from smallpox introduced by travelers before the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the area.
Daily life in Machu Picchu: During its use as a royal estate, it is estimated that about 750 people lived there, with most serving as support staff (yanaconas, yana) who lived there permanently. Though the estate belonged to Pachacutec, religious specialists and temporary specialized workers (mayocs) lived there as well, most likely for the ruler's well-being and enjoyment. During the harsher season, staff dropped down to around a hundred servants and a few religious specialists focused on maintenance alone.
Studies show that according to their skeletal remains, most people who lived there were immigrants from diverse backgrounds. They lacked the chemical markers and osteological markers they would have if they had been living there their whole lives. Instead, there was bone damage from various species of water parasites indigenous to different areas of Peru.
There were also varying osteological stressors and varying chemical densities suggesting varying long-term diets characteristic of specific regions that were spaced apart. These diets are composed of varying levels of maize, potatoes, grains, legumes, and fish, but the overall most recent short-term diet for these people was composed of less fish and more corn.
This suggests that several of the immigrants were from more coastal areas and moved to Machu Picchu where corn was a larger portion of food intake. Most skeletal remains found at the site had lower levels of arthritis and bone fractures than those found in most sites of the Inca Empire. Inca individuals who had arthritis and bone fractures were typically those who performed heavy physical labor (such as the Mit'a) or served in the Inca military.
Animals are also suspected to have migrated to Machu Picchu as there were several bones found that were not native to the area. Most animal bones found were from llamas and alpacas.
These animals naturally live at altitudes of 4,000 meters (13,000 ft) rather than the 2,400 meters (7,900 ft) elevation of Machu Picchu. Most likely, these animals were brought in from the Puna region for meat consumption and for their pelts.
Guinea pigs were also found at the site in special burial caves, suggesting that they were at least used for funerary rituals, as it was common throughout the Inca Empire to use them for sacrifices and meat. Six dogs were also recovered from the site. Due to their placements among the human remains, it is believed that they served as companions of the dead.
Terraces used for farming at Machu Picchu: Much of the farming done at Machu Picchu was done on its hundreds of man-made terraces. These terraces were a work of considerable engineering, built to ensure good drainage and soil fertility while also protecting the mountain itself from erosion and landslides.
However, the terraces were not perfect, as studies of the land show that there were landslides that happened during the construction of Machu Picchu. Still visible are places where the terraces were shifted by landslides and then stabilized by the Inca as they continued to build around the area.