100 Years of Machu Picchu

100 Years of Machu Picchu

In July this year it was hundred years ago that Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu the most famous landmark of Peru and maybe of South America. Arguable one of the biggest archeological finds of the 20th century in South America this site has spoken to the imagination of many over the last 100 years. It was on July 24 1911 that Hiram Bingham, an American professor and adventurer made his second trip to Peru in search for the mythical lost city of the Inca, the last retreat of the Inca, on the run from the Spanish. After having spent a couple of weeks in Peru in 1908 he came back in 1911 in the dry season. During his time in Peru he discovered several smaller sites - the most important one Espiritu Pampa, a site on the border with the jungle which was discarded as being important but in recent years has been recognized as the most likely last retreat of the Inca – before “bumping” into Machu Picchu. Led as in many of his excursions by local farmers he was taken up the hill from where now Aguas Calientes is located (a small family used to live here) only to bump into large stone constructions completely overgrown by vegetation. It is thought that the site had seen earlier discoverers but credit to who it belongs; it was Hiram Bingham who made the site famous.

The year after in 1912 he returned with a crew from Yale University and national Geographic to start the clearing of the site allowing its visitors to appreciate the site to its fullest. This year a large celebration has been held to commemorate this great discovering for Peru. It was not only the celebration for the discovering itself; no it was also a celebration of Peruvian proud of their cultural heritage. The day was celebrated with a large audio and visual spectacle representing the glory of Machu Picchu. During the ceremony a partner of South America Travels Online had the honor to play the role of Machu Picchu during the reenactment of the moment of discovery.


 

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