138: Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu in 2003 (Photo by Jerry Daykin/Flickr)
Machu Picchu in 2003 (Photo by Jerry Daykin/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons)

On this date in 1911, an American historian found the remote ruins of the Incan city of Machu Picchu, which until that time had been unknown to the outside world.

Here are some facts you might not know about Machu Picchu.

First, it was built in the mid 15th century when the Incan Empire was at its peak. It is located in the Andes Mountains in what is now the Cusco region of Peru.

Second, it is believed that the site was built as an estate for the Emperor Pachacuti.

Third, Hiram Bingham III, who found the site with the help of local farmers and explorers, was a lecturer in South American history at Yale University. He returned the next year, clearing the site and collecting artifacts. The entirety of the April 1913 issue of National Geographic magazine was devoted to Machu Picchu. Bingham would go on to serve nine years in the United States Senate.

Our question, Hiram Bingham is cited as a possible inspiration for what movie character?


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