Skip to comments.Machu Picchu was not so lost after all
Posted on 12/11/2008 8:15:52 PM PST by bruinbirdman
Historians have uncovered documents and maps suggesting the city had been lost and found several times before the man who officially discovered the ruins, American Hiram Bingham, got there.
Funded by the National Geographic Society and friends at Yale University, Mr Bingham discovered the Peruvian city of stone terraces in 1911, earning his place among the pantheon on the world's greatest explorers.
After setting out from Cuzco, he followed directions from a local man to some Inca ruins, and became the first Westerner to set eyes on the crumbling citadel.
Once there, he began removing thousands of artefacts, mummies, stone carvings and other relics of the ancient Inca civilisation back to Yale.
But evidence has emerged that German engineer Augusto Berns may have discovered Machu Picchu 40 years earlier, according to the Independent. Records show that, in the 1860s, Mr Berns built a sawmill opposite Machu Picchu and raised money to plunder the site.
An English Baptist missionary, Thomas Payne, who lived in Peru from 1903 to 1952, also claimed to have not only found Machu Picchu first.
More recently Peruvian historians found maps with references to Machu Picchu dating back to 1874. The most powerful evidence comes from a cartographer, Pablo Greer, in the magazine South American Explorer, the paper says.
He discovered that Mr Berns spent years searching for Inca sites with local guides. One Peruvian historian also claims to have found evidence in Yale University's archives of a government document allowing Mr Berns to plunder treasure from the region.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
When will Yale return what they stole?
Thanks Sir Francis Dashwood.
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“Records show that, in the 1860s, Mr Berns built a sawmill opposite Machu Picchu and raised money to plunder the site.”
...sounds like this guy could have been the godfather of the current nest of crooks who run Wall Street.
OK, I'll give it to the local man.
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