The world’s attention was drawn to Machu Picchu when in 1911 American historian and explorer Hiram Bingham traveled to the area to find a ruined 15th-century Inca city in the hills above the Sacred Valley in southern Peru. Machu Picchu was built around 1450, but was barely abandoned a century later during the Spanish conquest.
More than 110 years after the first visit to Bingham, Donato Amado Gonzalez, a historian at the Peruvian Ministry of Culture, and Brian S. Power, an archaeologist at the University of Illinois, reviewed the original Bingham site notes, 20th-century maps, and centuries-old archives from various archaeological documents.
Their results indicate that science knows less about the site than previously thought.
The Paawpa Pacha: Journal of Andean Archeology In their article, the researchers conclude that the Inca may have originally named the ruined city Huayna Picchu because of the rocky summit closest to the site, rather than Machu Picchu.
We started with uncertainty about the names of the ruins from the time of Bingham’s first visit and then looked at several maps and atlases made before Bingham’s arrival Said Bauer, Professor of Anthropology at UIC Heritage Online science portal. Significant data indicates that the Inca city was actually called Picchu, or even more so is Huayna Picchu.
Researchers have found that the ruins of an Inca city called Huayna Picchu are also mentioned in a 1904 atlas published seven years before Bingham’s arrival in Peru. It is also detailed that Bingham was told in 1911 for the ruins named Huayna Picchu to search along the Urubamba River, searching for remains. According to the documents, the son of the landowner later, in 1912, told the man that the ruins would be called Huayna Picchu.According to Bauer, the most important links to the original name of the Inca city are preserved in accounts written by the Spaniards relatively soon after the area came under their control in the late 16th century.
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