Did Hiram Bingham Discover Machu Picchu Artifacts–Or Buy Them?

posted on August 11th, 2009 in Archaeology, Incas, Machu Picchu, Peru, Peru-Yale Controversy

Hiram Bingham at Machu Picchu in 1912

Hiram Bingham at Machu Picchu in 1912

Bingham Didn’t Dig Up The Yale Huacos –He Just Bought Them

August 6, 2009


By Nicholas Asheshov

Here in Urubamba Hiram Bingham’s reputation has taken a knock in the run-up to the centennial of the discovery in 1911 of Machu Picchu.

The revisionists are saying that Bingham was not just a persistent explorer but also, frankly, a humbug.

Bingham’s economical use of the truth has been compounded by the poorly-advised refusal of Yale University and its Peabody Museum of Natural History to return, as promised, what Bingham’s Yale expeditions dug up in the Vilcabamba 1912-15.

The Peruvian government is taking Yale to court but they’re not pushing it.

Here’s why. None of the good pieces in the Yale Machu Picchu collection were actually dug up by Yale archaeologists.