Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bingham's Eagle's Nest. 3 pictures

4,000 pictures and not 1 picture of the farmers who lived on Machu Picchu #Peru when "Indiana Jones", Hiram Bingham III (1875-1956) "discovered" this place in 1911. No snapshots? I checked out quite a lot of websites and documents but I did not find one picture :(

For Bingham, this eagle's nest was charming and no other place (on Earth?) could compare with it. On its slopes and terraces Bingham found two "pleasant" Indian farmers, Richarte and Alvarez, who did not speak Spanish. They lived there for more than four years. Plenty of terraces. Free from undesirable visitors. Rich soil. Fine climate. "Here the Indians had finally cleared off some ruins, burned over a few terraces, and planted crops of maize, sweet and white potatoes, sugar cane, beans, peppers, tree tomatoes and gooseberries.Source: Chapter 'XVII Machu Picchu' in Bingham/ Inca Land (1922).

How I would have loved to see Richarte's and Alvarez's pictures. Their families. Their gardens. In the middle of Machu Picchu. Or is this a glimpse of one of the gardens?
I love the idea - it's one of many hypothesis - that Machu Picchu was the summer residence of King Pachacuti (1438-1471/2). A safe haven where he could enjoy the company of his friends, make poems and enjoy his flowers. He loved flowers! On his deathbed he allegedly said "I was born as a lily in the garden, and like the lily I grew, as my age advanced. I became old and had to die, and so I withered and died."

Machu Picchu in 3 pictures: (1) 1911 before removal of vegetation (2) 1912 (3) recent picture

P.S. On July 24th, 1911 when he discovered the ruins he immediately set about taking a series of 28-30 photographs. Listing and naming each shot carefully.

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