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Jason Zappulla

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Pd. 7

AP Art History Compare and Contrast #23

#159 City of Cusco vs. #161 City of Machu Picchu

There are important similarities between City of Cusco and City

of Machu Picchu. Both were centers of population in the Inca Empire.

Both were built high in the mountains. Both were important

government centers for the Inca Empire (Cusco as the official capital,

Machu Picchu as a residence of the Emperor). Both cities used their

layout to show the social divisions in the Inca Empire (namely having

lower and upper classes live in different sections). Lastly, both had to

overcome large architectural challenges in order to be built (City of

Cusco had to have its stones fit exactly together, while City of Machu

Picchu had to build on a mountain using terraces.

However, there are also crucial differences between City of

Cusco and City of Machu Picchu. While Cusco was a true city, with

commerce and a native population, Machu Picchu was more of a palace

complex for the Inca Emperor (Sapa Inca). City of Cusco was built using

traditional stone architecture, while City of Machu Picchu was built in a

terrace style. Unlike City of Cusco, City of Machu Picchu includes

terrace farms to provide sustenance for the complex. Finally, both


cities had to make their stones fit exactly together by pecking at them,

rather than the stones simply being similar shapes.