Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, has long been considered one of the greatest archeological finds of the 20th Century. Back in 1911, explorer Hiram Bingham claimed to have discovered the fabled city high in the Peruvian Andes, and over time he helped excavate the ruins and bring them to international prominence. But now a debate is raging amongst historians and archeologists on whether or not Bingham actually was the first to find the city and even if the mountain fortress was ever lost at all.
This story by the New York Times, has the whole scoop on the debate, but basically it boils down to this. There are now some historians that believe that German explorer Augusto R. Berns actually raided Machu Picchu way back in 1860’s. Berns purchased land in the area, and built a sawmill on them, and then proceeded to raise funds to set up expeditions to raid Incan ruins, allegedly with the blessing of the Peruvian government.
If that wasn’t enough, there is also evidence of other adventurers visiting the site as early as 1874, with marking on maps and notes in journals. There are those who believe that the city was not over grown by the jungle yet, and saw a number of visitors come and go long before Bingham ever set foot in Peru.
It’s an interesting story for sure. Bingham has long been hailed as a great adventurer and explorer for his finds, but many think that the myth was of his own making, and that he told tall tales to enhance his own stature. Hard to believe that anyone in history would ever do that!! Regardless of who actually discovered it, or if it’s been accessible all along, Machu Picchu is still an amazing place, and that can not be disputed.
Thanks for the tip on this one GoBlog!
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