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Lost City of the Incas (Phoenix Press) Paperback – October 1, 2003
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This is the stuff of dreams, a story as romantic as any in the annals of exploration―SUNDAY TIMES
Bingham catalogues his finds with admirable concision, and indulges his wide interests, revealing little-known facts about the Incas... He captures the majesty of the architecture in its dramatic and wild surroundings―LITERARY REVIEW
About the Author
Hugh Thomson, the editor of this edition, is a travel writer and documentary film maker living in Bristol. His first book, The White Rock, is published by W&N in July 2001.
Top Customer Reviews
All this being said, I must emphasize that this book is a treasure and a must read for anyone about to visit Macchu Picchu - if only to contrast the conditions encountered by Bingham and his Indians to those that exist today, when busloads of clueless tourists are delivered straight to the Temple of the Sun. The first third of the book consists of a superb Introduction including a recapitulation of the16th century records of the Incas and their empire (including the awesome Pachakuti Inca), very competent review of Inca technology (many of their and an excellent recapitulation of the life stories of the last 4 Incas. The last part describes the actual "discovery" of Macchu Picchu which occured by procuring, for a silver coin, the services of Anacleto Alvarez, a local Qechua who had been living among the ruins all along. Macchu Pichu therefore had never been truly "lost" and "discovery" has in this context many interesting connotations.Read more ›
I know some people disagree over whether it's better to read the book before or after visiting Machu Picchu, but I'm honestly glad I read it after my trip. It was interesting to go through the last chapter on his excavations and think to yourself: "I know EXACTLY where he's talking about!" I can picture his route there because the trip was still fresh in my mind and I had a great understanding of the altitude and appreciation for climbing through the jungle for more than an hour to get to the top of Machu Picchu. The most interesting read to me was about his companion who attempted to climb Huayna Picchu. I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to climb it during my trip and that was honestly the most challenging thing I've ever done. Huayna Picchu is a vertical hike and it took tremendous effort to climb all the way to the top. That makes me appreciate the time it took Bingham's companion, Mr. Heald, to get there even more. Apparently Mr. Heald had to cut his way through lots of jungle and fell at one point, badly hurting his arm.Read more ›
Additionally, it was useful to read the book after having heard from our professional Peruvian guides how they feel about Bingham's adventures. The Peruvians seem to have a love/hate relationship with Bingham. They acknowledge him as the "scientific discoverer" of the ruins, but they also state that the Indians were living and farming at the ruins and knew about them all along. Many of the gravesites had already been plundered over the centuries. They also acknowledge that Bingham's determination and commitment essentially created the modern tourism industry in Peru. They also believe that Bingham and his crew took away valuable artifacts (perhaps gold and silver) which were never accurately catalogued and disclosed.
It was interesting to read about the excavation and process of discovery of landmarks in the ruins that we had had a chance to see firsthand.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love Peru and Machu Picchu. This book is painful to read. Read Mark Adams Turn Right at Machu Picchu you will get the story without the snore.Published 13 days ago by Sharon Galt
In spite of repeated passages the account of this expedition by its leader provides great reading. I enjoyed it recently while on a trip to Cuzco-Macchu Picchu.Published 1 month ago by Gloria Valdes
I bought the book as a intro to the Incas before my trip to Peru. The story is quite hard to follow for someone that does not have previous knowledge of the material. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Matija Krajnc
I read this while visiting Machu Picchu, not only was the book informative regarding the history and construction of the ruins, it brought a heightened sense of adventure to the... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Lynda Spangler
Just got around to reading the whole book and realized this copy is missing page 31-79 (48 pages), with a repeat of pages 191-238. Read morePublished 10 months ago by NW Shopper