Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hiram Bingham and the Scientific Discovery of Machu Picchu

When Hiram Bingham III organized the Yale Peruvian Expedition of 1911, he had four objectives: to scale Mount Coropuna, to conduct a geolographic survey along the 73rd meridian, to explore Lake Parinococha, and to discover Vilcabamba "the lost city of the Inca".

These ambitious goals could be contemplated because of financing from his family and Yale classmates, assistance from US companies and political support from the American and Peru governments.  At the behest of Peru's president, Hiram Bingham and his staff were provided with a military escort and with letters of introduction that ensured cooperation in Cusco and in the small villages of the Urabamba River.