Picture of a
llama grazing in the ruins of Machu Picchu in the 1960s. In order to
prevent vegetation from overgrowing the citadel of Machu Picchu, the Peruvians
have been using llamas for many years to maintain the ruins. When Hiram
Bingham "discovered" Machu Picchu in 1911, the ruins were overgrown with
vegetation such as grasses, bushes and trees that had to be manually removed.
Besides being practical, llamas are much more esthetic and appealing to visitors
than a team of workmen equipped with lawnmowers and bushwhackers. Unfortunately
in their zeal to make Machu Picchu more esthetic to visitors, modern-day
Peruvians have made extensive reconstructions, especially of the terraces,
during which virtually all the rocks are relocated, thereby, loosing much
important archaeological information during the reconstructions.