The early introduction of exotic Machu Picchu to travelers

The early introduction of exotic Machu Picchu to travelers

A vintage newspaper story from the 1950s explaining Machu Picchu, the Secret of the Incas!

Machu Picchu Planned and Built by the Ancient Incas ~ A vacation destination of a lifetimeToday, Machu Picchu is a top “bucket-list” choice for travelers considering where to take their next vacation. But if we turn back the clock  five or six decades, we find that South America’s most iconic historic site rated hardly a blip on the tourism radar. Check out this 1955 newspaper column, which attempted to raise the collective consciousness about the ancient Inca citadel. Most of the scientific assertions about Machu Picchu’s historic significance have since been disproved and replaced with more informed theories. But the overriding point is clear:  This wonder of ancient architecture should be visited and experienced.

THE PRAIRIE PALS ~ SATURDAY, MARCH 5, 1955

Buried Inca Fortress Excavated

North American vacationers beckoned to Peru by this Machu Picchu article from 1955By R.S. Craggs

During the period 1400-1448 in the Inca empire of Peru, the monarch in power built a long line of  fortresses along the eastern frontier as a guard against possible invasion from beyond the Andes Mountains. The greatest of these structures was Machu Picchu.

Driven back by the Spaniards, the last Inca ruler with his surviving warriors sought refuge in the city which was so inaccessible and remote that no white man of the time ever saw it.

Secret of the Incas premiered July 1954, offering many American moviegoers, and would-be travelers, their first peek of Machu Picchu.It remained undiscovered until 1912, when an American university professor, Hiram Bingham, led an expedition of exploration that cleared away the jungle of 400 years and revealed the roofless stone buildings (the roofs of thatch had long since vanished). Dr. Bingham found terrace above terrace, all filled in with earth, the gardens of the Incas. In one corner of the citadel is a sundial carved out of solid rock. By this means the Inca astronomers were able to tell the time of day and the time of year. A cemetery found contained mostly female skeletons. This would indicate that the able-bodied warriors died in defense of their land in the valleys far below.

The traveller today does not have to endure the hardships of a foot journey to view this wonder of ancient architecture built by a race that did not even know the wheel. An auto on rails makes the journey from the nearby city of Cuzco in about three hours. Below Machu Picchu, which is in a canyon, is the precipice which ends at the Urubamba River 2,000 feet below.

This great fortress is just one example of the fine work scholars do as they excavate ancient ruins and interpret them. It is called archaeology.

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Authored by: PeruTravelTrends

A Peru Tour Operator and Travel Agency: Since 1994 creating wonderful vacation experiences for adventure travelers and holidaymakers in Cusco, Lima, Arequipa, Lake Titicaca, and all around the Andean region.

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