Archaeology: Spiritual Retreat

Machu Picchu, long revered as a lost city of the Incas and one of the world's most sacred places, may have been nothing more than a royal vacation home

There was no doubt in Hiram Bingham's mind that he had stumbled onto something mystical in the summer of 1911, when he discovered the dazzling Incan settlement now known as Machu Picchu. He was convinced that the remote Peruvian outpost dotted with temples was a sacred city, the birthplace and final stronghold of the Incas, where virgins sought sanctuary and priests worshipped the sun god. The charismatic Bingham--a Yale University archaeologist, later a Connecticut Governor and U.S. Senator and much later a model for Hollywood's Indiana Jones--announced, in a series of magazine articles and best-selling books, what he had found, and...

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