By: Hiram Bingham (1875-1956)
Prof. Hiram Bingham of Yale Makes the Greatest Archaeological Discovery of the Age by Locating and Excavating Ruins of Machu Picchu on a Peak in the Andes of Peru.
There is nothing new under the sun, they say. That is only relatively true. Just now, when we thought there was practically no portion of the earth's surface still unknown, when the discovery of a single lake or mountain, or the charting of a remote strip of coast line was enough to give a man fame as an explorer, one member of the daredevil explorers' craft has "struck it rich." Struck it so dazzlingly rich, indeed, that all his confrères may be pardoned if they gnash their teeth in chagrin and turn green with envy. The lucky man is Prof. Hiram Bingham of Yale, he whose hobby is South America. He has just announced that he has had the superb good fortune to discover an entire city, two thousand years old, a place of splendid palaces and temples and grim encircling walls, hidden away so thoroughly on the top of a well-nigh inaccessible mountain peak of the Peruvian Andes that the Spanish invaders of four hundred years ago never set eyes upon it. He calls it Machu Picchu. (From New York Times, June 15, 1913)
One hundred years ago in the summer of 1911, Bingham discovered Machu Picchu, returning in the summer of 1912 to excavate under the auspices of Yale and The National Geographic Society, and coming home to great acclaim and a spate of published articles and photos. He fully described the 1911 expedition and original find in his 1922 book INCA LANDS: Explorations in the Highlands of Peru.