Previous page  
List of subjects |  Sources |  Feedback 

Share |

Discover in a free
daily email today's famous
history and birthdays

Enjoy the Famous Daily

Machu Picchu: 1911

Ever since the arrival of the Spaniards in Peru there have been rumours of a lost city of the Incas. Many have searched for it before the challenge inspires Hiram Bingham, an American historian. In 1911 he arrives in Cuzco with a party from the university of Yale.

After several disappointments, following up rumours of ruins, the group stops for the night by a canyon of the Urubamba river. An old Indian, named Arteaga, walks into the camp. He says that he knows a ruined place near a peak in the jungle. He will take anyone there for a silver dollar.

The next day Bingham and an interpreter set off with him. They cross the rapids of the river on an alarming log bridge and then progress slowly through hot dense jungle. After some hours they are about 2000 feet above the river.

Bingham is excited to see traces of terracing. Further on, at the top of the jungle ridge, he is confronted by 'walls of beautiful white granite' containing 'blocks of Cyclopean size' - the characteristic style of Inca masonry. Above the ridge soars the jagged peak of Machu Picchu. Bingham has found his lost city. And the world recovers one of the most remarkable human settlements in all history.

Previous page