As a populated center, the archaeological complex of Machu Picchu, covering approximately 20 hectares, is divided into two major sectors, two well-differentiated areas that are constructed on a natural division, taking advantage of a geological fault:
1.- Towards the south, the agricultural or crop growing
which includes a vast network of platforms or wide
artificial terraces, most of them covered with thick vegetation,
is all there is left to show of the original crop terracing in this
area. It is located beyond the entrance to the tourist hotel.On
the eastern end of the terraces there are five buildings that may
have been used to lodge the farmers that grew crops in this area.
These are the buildings known as the "Farmers' Group", although
Bingham calls them the "External Barracks". At the top of this terracing
there is a small, three-walled building which apparently was a guard
post, built at a strategic point, as its picturesque view commands
the Urubamba canyon on both sides.
2.- To the north, the urban sector,
formed by different
buildings and plazas, among which figure notably the so-called circular
Sun Temple, the Intiwatana or sundial, the Temple of the Three Windows,
the Main Temple and the so-called Cˇndor Sector.
Likewise, there is an impressive monolith some 3 meters high by 7 meters broad, known as the Sacred Rock.
This sector is divided into 3 major areas for the ritual places (temples, monuments and funeral chambers) and the civil sector (with a series of rooms, halls, silos, etc.).
The Sacred District, including the Intiwatana,
the Sun Temple and the Three-Window Room.
The Priests' and Nobles' District (a residential
The People's District, in the south of the city,
where ordinary civil dwellings may be found.
However, functionally this included other places which were used as the topography allowed, and were not necessarily inhabited, such as Huayna Picchu, the Moon Temple, Intipunku and the Drawbridge. As the only fertile soil in the whole area is that which was taken to the terraces, it is considered that the city did not have a large population the year round.