Warm Up

Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

    • ex. We visited the site where the castle was built over 1,000 years ago.
    • ex. Life was very different only one century ago.
  1. abandon
    • ex. No one knows why the island was suddenly abandoned.
    • ex. I love to study about ancient Egypt.
  2. countless
    • ex. Kyoto is my favorite city; I’ve visited it countless times.


Read the article below and answer your tutor's questions.

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According to a recent report, one of the most famous sites in the world has been called the wrong name for more than a century. Researchers say that the real name of Machu Picchu is probably Huayna Picchu, which translates to “new or young mountain peak” in the Quechua language. Machu Picchu means “old mountain peak.”

It’s believed that Huayna Picchu was built around 1420 and abandoned after the Spanish came. In 1911, it was “rediscovered” by American explorer Hiram Bingham, who decided to call the ancient site Machu Picchu. Researchers say that locals actually knew about the site long before Bingham arrived, and they found several old documents that called it Huayna Picchu. They explained that many explorers couldn’t speak Quechua well and didn’t really try to research place names.

Although the researchers feel that Huayna Picchu is the correct name for the site, they don’t recommend changing its name because Machu Picchu is known all over the world. It’s been published in countless books, articles, and legal documents, and the Peruvian people and government have accepted Machu Picchu as the modern name of the site.


Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.

Famous Name Changes

  • Do you agree that the site should continue to be called Machu Picchu? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, is it possible to be 100% sure that Huayna Picchu is the true name of the ancient site? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In recent years, the Japanese government has asked foreign media to write Japanese names in the Japanese order (ex. Kishida Fumio, not Fumio Kishida). What do you think about this request (ex. a good idea, too late)? Why? Discuss.

Machu Picchu and Other Ancient Sites

  • In your opinion, should textbooks still say that Hiram Bingham rediscovered Machu Picchu? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Currently, the number of visitors to Machu Picchu is limited to 3,400 per day. How do you feel about this limit (ex. a good way to protect the site, not fair for people who travel far to see it)? Why? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, what are the best ancient sites to visit in your country? Why? Discuss.