For today’s Geo Quiz, we’re headed to the lost city of the Incas. Now, we’re not asking you to name that ancient city in Peru. That’d be too easy. It’s Machu Picchu, one of the world’s best known archaeological sites. What we want to know is who discovered Machu Picchu. This American explorer was a Yale professor at the time of the discovery — in 1911. Today, in Peru, you can find a train that bears his name. We’ll take a ride on that train… And reveal the name of this man who some say was a real-life model for the fictional Indiana Jones. (Photo: David Baron)
The topic was Machu Picchu — the ancient Incan city in Peru. The site was closed to tourists after floods in January destroyed roads and railways that serve the site.
Today, Machu Picchu re-opened. And our challenge to you was to name the man credited with discovering the archaeological site. The answer is Hiram Bingham.
Bingham was a Yale historian who later served as a U.S. Senator from Connecticut. He found Machu Picchu in 1911. Now, there’s some controversy around Bingham’s claim that he was the first outsider to visit the site. But there’s no doubt that Bingham was the person who brought Machu Picchu to world attention.
He wrote about his expeditions in National Geographic magazine and a best-selling book. There’s now a luxury train named after him. It runs from the Peruvian city of Cusco to the base of Machu Picchu, which — in the Quechua language — means “Old Peak.”
The trains are not currently operating their normal service… because of the recent flooding. But before the floods, The World’s David Baron had a chance to ride the Hiram Bingham… And he brings us this audio postcard: