Daily Tour Machu Picchu before Bingham – Tour Peru
“In 1551, the Viceroy Mendoza ordered Betanzos to record the history of the Incas but the initial eighteen chapters were lost for more than 400 years Machupicchu.”
Archaeologist Paolo Greer looks at the history of Machu Picchu before it was officially ‘discovered’ by Hiram Bingham in 1911 – Peru.
In 1471, the year the Conquistador Francisco Pizarro was born, Pachacuti Yupanqui died. Pachacuti was the ninth Inca and Atahualpa’s Great Grandfather. When he was young, Pachacuti was known simply as Cusi Yupanqui. Then, the Inca kingdom was small and their enemies, the Chancas, attacked their home, Cusco. Cusi’s Father, Viracocha, and his six brothers fled, while he, the youngest, stayed to successfully defend the city. In the decades that followed, Cusi Yupanqui and his sons, Yamque and Topa, extended the Inca Empire to include vast territories and numerous civilizations (daily tour cusco). Cusi became known as “Pachacuti”, “He Who Changes the World”.
The “World Changer” confined Cusco’s rivers to stone channels and had his capital completely rebuilt. He created the Inca system of warehouses and roads, with chasqui messengers to maintain rapid communication. He defined the calendar, festivals, customs and laws for his people to follow and organized a warrior class for the conquests to come (day tour Cusco).
It was Pachacuti who ordered the holiest Inca site, the Sun Temple or Coricancha, to be constructed. For that, he gathered the best goldsmiths and told them to fashion a life-sized figure of a young boy, resembling the brilliantly shining child he had seen in a vision while protecting Cusco (day tour Puno).
Pachacuti personally placed the finished statue in an interior room of the Coricancha, where only he, certain lords and special caretakers were allowed to enter to revere the child’s figure, the most sacred icon in the realm (day tour Arequipa).
Like Pachacuti, the golden sculpture was considered a representative of the sun.
On the same day that Pachacuti installed the boy’s image in the Sun Temple, he had a sugarloaf shaped stone, an intihuatana or “sun hitch”, placed in the center of the principal plaza of Cusco. The specially carved rock represented the sun, for one and all to worship (day tour Lima).
Although Pachacuti’s victories stretched throughout the Inca’s known world, his initial invasions were in the Urubamba Valley. It was there that the aged leader had a village built for his panaca or descendant family to care for his tomb and to serve his memory (day tour Tambopata).
He called the town Patallacta, “High City”. It is now known as Machu Picchu (day tour Machupicchu by train, day tour Machupicchu by car).
The Inca History is Recorded in Peru:
Huayna Capac, Pachacuti’s grandson, chose the newborn Cuxirimay (‘Speaks Good Fortune’) to eventually wed his son, Atahualpa. After Huayna Capac’s death, Cuxirimay was in Atahualpa’s camp when he was captured by Pizarro. She stayed with the imprisoned Inca leader until his execution by the Spaniards (daily tour Machupicchu).
Following Atahualpa’s murder, Cuxirimay became Doña Angelina Yupanqui, and Francisco Pizarro’s mistress. She bore him two sons, Juan and Francisco (Daily tour Cusco).
When Pizarro was assassinated in 1541, Angelina Yupanqui was nineteen years old.
In 1544, Doña Angelina became the wife of Juan de Betanzos, a Quechua interpreter for the Conquistadors. Following the conquest of Peru, Betanzos became the most respected translator for the Viceroyalty. In the same year that he wed Angelina, Betanzos was commissioned to write the Church’s religious conversion manuals and Spanish-Quechua dictionaries. In 1551, the Viceroy Mendoza ordered Betanzos to record the history of the Incas. Betanzos’ unique work, Suma y narracion de los Yngas, was finished in 1557. However, all but the initial eighteen chapters were lost for more than 400 years (daily tour Arequipa).
In 1987, a complete manuscript, with an additional sixty-four chapters, was found in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The “Inca Garcilaso” produced his “Royal Commentaries” in 1609, based mostly on what he remembered as a child before leaving Peru in 1560 (daily tour Puno).
Bernabe Cobo, like Garcilaso, among the most cited of Inca authorities, relied on the scant records available in his day, publishing his history in 1653, nearly one hundred years after Betanzos’ direct translations from Atahualpa’s cousin-wife and their surviving relatives (daily tour Lima).
Perhaps, it was then that Cuxirimay, a.k.a. Doña Angelina Yupanqui, finally “spoke her good fortune” by preserving the history of her vanquished ancestors. Without the telling of her story by Juan de Betanzos, and his Narration’s recent rediscovery, much of the Inca’s own ac¬count might have been lost forever (daily tour Machu Picchu).
The Rediscovery of Patallacta Inka – Tour Peru:
Travel from Inca Land – Explorations in the Highlands of Peru (1912) by Hiram Bingham: “On the afternoon of July 23rd we reached a hut called “La Maquina”, where travelers frequently stop for the night. The name comes from the presence here of some large iron wheels, parts of a “machine” destined never to overcome the difficulties of being transported all the way to a sugar estate in the lower valley, and years ago left here to rust in the jungle…(daily tour to Machu Picchu)”.
The rusted machine that the Yale ex-plorer wrote about had nothing to do with sugar cane. It was a sawmill, brought to Peru before Bingham’s birth by a German, Augusto R. Berns, for the purpose of pro-ducing ties for the Southern Peru Railroad (daily tour to Cusco).
The site of La Maquina is now Aguas Calientes, the community just below Machu Picchu (daily tour to Puno).
In 1867, Berns purchased twenty-five kilometers of the northern bank of the Urubamba/Vilcanota River, next to the famous citadel. His estate, the “Cercado de San Antonio” or “Torontoy”, extended above and far downriver from the present ruins of Torontoy, and up to the mountain crests, directly opposite of Machu Picchu (daily tour Peruvian).
Even today, this region within plain sight of the best known ancient city in the Americas is virtually unknown (daily tour to Arequipa).
Travel to Pre-Bingham Research – Tour Peru:
I first walked the popular Inca trail in 1974, several years before I encountered history of the area that pre-dated Hiram Bingham. Like many a good adventure, this one started with the serendipitous discovery of an old map (daily tour to Lima).
I came upon the sketch during one of my numerous trips to the U.S. Library of Congress. It had no title or date, although it indicated the locations of mineral deposits along the Vilcanota River. Oddly, it was in English and in its center was a spot marked “Saw Mill” (daily tour to Manu National Park).
It took me another twenty years to find out who had drawn the map and why (daily tour to peru).
That same year, in 1978, I found another clue, one that also took decades to comprehend. I had sent away for a large 900-page volume, the “Directory of Archives and Manuscript Repositories”. The index described hundreds of historical collections in the United States (daily tour to rainbow mountain).
I read it carefully, page by page, gleaning any reference I could about Peru (daily tour to Machupicchu).
One brief citation mentioned “promo-tional materials relating to an attempt to exploit a mineral area of Peru, 1881” machu. It caught my eye because, in those years, my passion was exploration for long for¬gotten mines in the “Caravaya”, a remote section of high jungle in the department of Puno near the Bolivian frontier (daily tour to Tambopata).
Alas, this particular prospect was some-where else entirely, on the river Vilcanota near a place called Torontoy (daily tour to Sandoval Lake).
The Oldest Map of Machu Picchu Tours – Tour Peru:
In 1989, I was granted an interview with Juan Mejía Baca, the Director of the National Library of Peru. I had spent many weeks in the library and had finally worked up my courage to make a few suggestions to Don Juan about how he might make his archives more accessible (daily travel to Machupicchu).
At the time, I also happened to be searching for a certain book, one written in 1877 by a Herman Gohring, concerning the illfated 1873 Baltazar La-Torre attempt to descend the treacherous rivers below Paucartambo (daily travel to Cusco) .
When I mentioned it to Sr. Mejia Baca, he laughed, saying that he knew of the book, had had his library completely searched and was sure it was not there (daily travel peruvian).
I said I thought it was and I could find it. The Director politely rolled his eyes (daily travel peru).
Within an hour, I located three separate copies, using an obscure index I knew. One of the books still contained Gohring’s map of the expedition, as well as of his own ex-plorations the following year, as a mining engineer in the employ of President Pardo (daily travel to inka trail classic).
When the brave La-Torre was killed by thirty-four Native arrows, Gohring escaped. He was nursed back to health by a Señora Yábar in Paucartambo, coincidentally a relative of a friend of mine, Rodolfo Bragagnini. Indeed, it was only for Rodolfo that I sought the lost manuscript (daily travel to Puno).
Even so, Gohring’s work on the Vilcanota sparked an old memory. More importantly, his map, dated 1874, clearly indicated two peaks, “Machu Picchu” and “HuainaPicchu”, and his 1877 text referred to the “forts of Chuquillusca, Torontoy and Picchu” (daily travel to Arequipa).
In 1989, the same year that I found the Gohring map, I gave out hundreds of copies to historians, archaeologists and to anyone who feigned an interest. Still, for more than a decade, the oldest known map of Machu Picchu remained remarkably unnoticed (daily travel to Lima).
The only exceptions that I am aware of were Dan Buck, who published the copy I sent him in the South American Explorers Magazine (1993 “Fights of Machu Picchu”) and another I passed on to the Via Láctea newspaper of Cusco in 1999 (daily travel to Tambopata).
In the years that followed, when I wasn’t working pipeline in northern Alaska or squandering my grubstakes prospecting the Inambari headwaters of southeastern Peru, I continued my research on the region of Machu Picchu before Bingham (daily travel to salkantay treks).
I even diligently plied the new phenom-enon, the Internet. After two years of early cyber-searching, I learned of a few papers that heirs of an American backer of Berns had put up for sale (daily travel to Sandoval Lake).
The documents contained Berns’ pro-spectus and a detailed plan of the Torontoy estate that he had made himself: “I make by hand after a good yellow gumi gusty color. These points more distinct. This is a small work of some hours and will make all falling in the eye at once. Also makes an elegant map. Yours truly. A. R. Berns.” (daily travel to ausangate treks).
Berns had his waybill copyrighted, so that no one else could reproduce and publish it. By 1881, he had abandoned his attempts to cut railroad ties and, instead, was promoting the “lost mines of the Inca” (daily travel to Manu National Park).
This pseudo-revelation begs for a side note, on the chance that the tabloids stumble upon this learned magazine (Daily travel to Machu Picchu).