Lost city of the Incas : the story of Machu Picchu and its builders

by Hiram Bingham

Paper Book, 1948



Call number

F3429.1 .M3


New York : Atheneum, 1963, c1948.


In 1911 Hiram Bingham, a pre-historian with a love of exotic destinations, set out to Peru in search of the legendary city of Vilcabamba, capital city of the last Inca ruler, Manco Inca. With a combination of doggedness and good fortune he stumbled on the perfectly preserved ruins of Machu Picchu perched on a cloud-capped ledge 2000 ft above the torrent of the Urumbamba River. The buildings were of white granite, exquisitely carved blocks each higher than a man. Bingham had not, as it turned out, found Vilcabamba but he had nevertheless made an astonishing discovery which he described in his best-selling book LOST CITY OF THE INCAS.

User reviews

LibraryThing member DramMan
Mildly interesting account of the author's travels, exploration and discovery in Peru, early in the 20th C. Nothing beats the experience of actually visiting Machu Picchu, one of the wonders of the world, but this book provides useful background information.
LibraryThing member skrouhan
I read this book while on my own trip to Peru, following my hike up the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. I'm glad I read it, but the material is a bit dry, and his perspective writing the book is not quite accurate (this novel was written years after his trip, so some of the observations he claims to
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have had when first setting foot in Machu Picchu have been proven to be untrue). He also spends a lot of time describing the stone work, which I found a little dull.
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LibraryThing member untraveller
Bingham is a good writer, the maps are decent (could provide a bit better detail!), and he does a good job of recapitulating the story of his involvement with Machu Picchu. I just don't get archeologists and their conclusions. The just make shit up whenever they cannot figure something out. I
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really love his conclusion on the obsidian pebbles....they are tally stones for those bringing alpaca wool to the Chosen Women. Huh? I will never give an archeological book a superior rating, but this was pretty good, nevertheless....
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Original publication date


Physical description

x, 240 p.; 18 cm


0689700148 / 9780689700149


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