Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bottom of the Stack

Today I found in my e-mailbox at the bottom of the stack an e-mail I forgot. Remember the letter I wrote about Hiram Bingham's "discovery" of Machu Picchu? Not? Here it is ;)

Two months ago I wrote an e-mail to Roger Balm asking him for details about the pictures Bingham took on July 24th, 1911. On this day Bingham immediately set about taking a series of 28-30 photographs. Listing and naming each shot carefully.

Roger wrote in 2004 in 'Focus on Geography' his article 'The Expeditionary Eye: Reconstructing the First Photographs of Machu Picchu'. I asked him if I could find Bingham's 28-30 pictures somewhere online? Answer: No! These rare and fascinating documents are only accessible offline in the archives of the anthropology museum at Yale. I asked him also if he had a copy of the notes/ diary Bingham made on July 24, 1911 and how he got the total number of photos taken by Bingham. Answer: "Bingham was an accurate note taker and he identified and numbered each photograph in his field notebook so I got that total from the notebooks archived at mail. Unfortunately, the pages for July 24 are missing from the archive. A book you may find useful is "Portrait of an Explorer" by Hiram's grandson, Alfred. It is well illustrated with old photographs.

Remember that we have to visit the Yale archives and check out these boxes:
I want to check out if there are pictures of the three families (Richarte, Alvarez and ?) that lived on Machu Picchu when Bingham "found" this site in 1911. I would love to see Richarte's and Alvarez's pictures. Their families. Their gardens. In the middle of Machu Picchu. Why? I guess it's something romantic: #first #paradise #garden #indians

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