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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:31 AM
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The fights of Machu Picchu: Who got there first?
The fights of Machu Picchu: Who got there first?
By Simon Romero Published: December 8, 2008

CUSCO, Peru: From the postcards bearing his swashbuckling, fedora-topped image to the luxury train emblazoned with his name that runs to the foot of the mountain redoubt of Machu Picchu, reminders are ubiquitous here of Hiram Bingham, the Yale explorer long credited with revealing the so-called Lost City of the Incas to the outside world almost a century ago.

But in recent months, a confluence of contrary events has threatened to upend the legacy of Bingham, the ostensible model for the fictional Indiana Jones. Peru has threatened legal action against Yale to recover thousands of artifacts Bingham removed. Evidence has emerged suggesting that a German adventurer may have arrived there first. And a dispute has been grinding on over who owned the site when Bingham supposedly discovered it.

Scholarly circles in Peru have been abuzz with revisionist debate.

Not only may Bingham not be quite the heroic pioneer that he has been portrayed as, but it may well be that the Lost City of the Incas was never really lost after all.

The disputes over who discovered or rediscovered the sacred site have become so contentious they have been living up to the phrase "the fights of Machu Picchu," coined by the U.S. writer Daniel Buck in an allusion to a Pablo Neruda ode, "The Heights of Machu Picchu."

More:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/12/08/america/journal....
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