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Secrets In The Dust – #1/12 – Machu Picchu City In The Clouds

31/07/2021

Docuwiki

Secrets in the Dust Through its ability to make us dream and marvel at the achievements of the past, archaeology has evolved from an inconspicuous discipline based on ruins and fragments into one of the most attention-grabbing fields of scientific study today. This series presents not only some of the most groundbreaking archaeological discoveries, but also the turbulent history of archaeology itself, with its adventurers and grave robbers, its embittered rivals and passionate visionaries.

Machu Picchu City In The Clouds

Hawaiian-born, Yale-educated Hiram Bingham was determined to make a name for himself as an explorer. At the beginning of the 20th Century, when the last empty spaces on the globe were fast disappearing, he decided to climb South America’s highest mountain and discover the legendary last refuge of the Incas after the Conquistadors’ invasion. In the end, the mountain he scaled turned out to be only the second-highest. And the lost city in the clouds he discovered was not the Inca refuge, but an administrative centre: the fabulous Machu Picchu, still one of the greatest tourist magnets in the world. Today’s archaeologists can at last explain how it was built, with astonishing precision, 4,000 meters up on the mountain-tops – a sophisticated canal system was constructed to prevent it being washed away. And as if to emphasize that even today this is an extreme region, in January 2010 hundreds of visitors had to be rescued from Machu Picchu by helicopter in a days-long ordeal, after rockfalls and heavy rain cut off their return journey.

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