The Museum is organized around the collection of pieces from Machu Picchu, excavated in 1912 by Hiram Bingham, and with more Inca artifacts that were discovered during the archaeological excavations comprised within the process of restoration of the Casa Concha in 2007.
The majority of the objects are ceramic and were used by the people who lived at Machu Picchu until the end of the fifteenth century to prepare chicha, cook corn, and eat the food. It is assumed that these objects were used daily by the population of the mountain-top city who resided there for the majority of the year.
But other pieces were just used for rituals, and they invite us to reflect on questions that have been debated by researchers for years. We refer here not just to Inca objects but ones clearly belonging to northerners like the Chimus or Chimu-Incas.
The presence of these ritual pieces that came from parts of the Andean territory whose addition to the empire was in the later stage of the expansion of the Inca empire, leads us to rethink the occupation and function of Machu Picchu. In fact, the idea of imperial use of Machu Picchu is that it was built by an Inca only for the exclusive use after his reign was over, contradicts the presence of objects from other parts of the Andean territory that wasn’t controlled by Pachacutec during his rule
The historical and archaeological evidence supports the construction of Machu Picchu was by hands of the people of Cusco, the presence of northern ceramics in the Machu Picchu excavation indicates that Machu Picchu remained an important city in the region at a ritual or commercial level long after the fall of Pachacutec.
Furthermore, the other objects in the collection of the Casa Concha also expand on what is known about the people that stayed at Machu Picchu. This fact allows us to suggest the idea of a partial occupation of Machu Picchu in the colonial times and/or in the Republican time.
The artifacts in the collection of the Machu Picchu Casa Concha Museum are noted for their aesthetic and artistic value. But beyond that, they serve as a way for us to better understand the history of the Incas and Machu Picchu. In particular, to exhibit to a greater extent the influence of Machu Picchu, regardless of time and space, was much greater than previously thought.
Archeological Excavation Of Casa Concha In 2007
The Inca floor of Casa Concha is distributed with precision and composed of lithic elements made of andesite, suggesting it served as a ritual space. This is also supported by the wall structure, paved floor and cultural elements, whose displacement is oriented towards the southeast.
The characteristic Inca wall corresponds to the time period, with lithic elements of tight fitting and pillowed-faced stones. The 8 sequences of rows, 3.22 meters high from the ground shows clear evidence of a wall from the Inca period and lithic elements from the upper part taken from later periods. The height of the original wall exceeds 1.5 meters, taking into account the head and associated floor foundation.
The Inca wall that forms a transversal angle with a southern orientation cuts off abruptly, possibly for the removal of stones to make room for the construction of the colonial canal. The process of change and transformation recorded in Casa Concha has been radical. Sections of the wall from the Inca era have been removed, only later to be reassembled in the transition era (Inca - Colonial) without respecting the levels of inclination and other details specific to the prehispanic architecture.