Hiram Bingham (1875 - 1956) was an academic, explorer, treasure hunter and politician from the United States. He obtained degrees from Yale, UCLA Berkeley, and a PhD. from Harvard. He taught history and politics at Harvard and then served as preceptor under Woodrow Wilson at Princeton. In 1907, Yale appointed him as lecturer in South American history. In 1911 he made public the existence of the famed Quechua citadel of Machu Picchu and the world has been captivated by the mystery and romance of the land of the Inca's ever since. 2011 is the centennial year of Bingham's famous announcement. This book has been republished, in part, to celebrate his achievement, but more importantly to raise funds for Project Peru which gives ongoing and practical support to those who live in extreme poverty in the desert shanty towns of Lima, Peru. In the 410 pages of this book you will find some of the results of four of Bingham's journeys into the interior of Peru. In the main these travels covered southern Peru, which took Bingham into every variety of climate and forced him to camp at almost every altitude-from sea level to 21,703 feet. The Incas lived in this land of violent contrasts. In Inca Land one may pass from glaciers to lush tree ferns within a few hours. So also in the labyrinth of contemporary chronicles of the last of the Incas-no historians go more rapidly from fact to fancy, from accurate observation to grotesque imagination; no writers omit important details and give conflicting statements with greater frequency. The story of the Incas is still in a maze of doubt and contradiction. It was this mystery and the romance of nineteenth-century exploration that first led Bingham into the relatively unknown region between the Apurimac and the Urubamba, sometimes called "the Cradle of the Incas" and to the fabled Quechua citadel of Machu Picchu.
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