Inca Land - Explorations in the Highlands of Peru
by Hiram Bingham
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Ruins in the Jungles of Espiritu Pampa ———

One of the buildings was rounded at one end. Another, standing by itself at the south end of a little pampa, had neither doors nor windows. It was rectangular. Its four or five niches were arranged with unique irregularity. Furthermore, they were two feet deep, an unusual dimension. Probably this was a storehouse. On the east side of the pampa was a structure, 120 feet long by 21 feet wide, divided into five rooms of unequal size. The walls were of rough stones laid in adobe. Like some of the Inca buildings at Ollantaytambo, the lintels of the doors were made of three or four narrow uncut ashlars. Some rooms had niches. On the north side of the pampa was another rectangular building. On the west side was the edge of a stone-faced terrace. Below it was a partly enclosed fountain or bathhouse, with a stone spout and a stone-lined basin. The shapes of the houses, their general arrangement, the niches, stone roof-pegs and lintels, all point to Inca builders. In the buildings we picked up several fragments of Inca pottery.

Equally interesting and very puzzling were half a dozen crude Spanish roofing tiles, baked red. All the pieces and fragments we could find would not have covered four square feet. They were of widely different sizes, as though some one had been experimenting. Perhaps an Inca who had seen the new red tiled roofs of Cuzco had tried to reproduce them here in the jungle, but without success.

At dusk we all returned to Espiritu Pampa. Our faces, hands, and clothes had been torn by the jungle; our feet were weary and sore. Nevertheless the day's work had been very satisfactory and we prepared to enjoy a good night's rest. Alas, we were doomed to disappointment. During the day some one had brought to the hut eight tame but noisy macaws. Furthermore, our savage helpers determined to make the night hideous with cries, tom-toms, and drums, either to discourage the visits of hostile Indians or jaguars, or for the purpose of exorcising the demons brought by the white men, or else to cheer up their families, who were undoubtedly hiding in the jungle near by.

The next day the savages and our carriers continued to clear away as much as possible of the tangled growth near the best ruins. In this process, to the intense surprise not only of ourselves, but also of the savages, they discovered, just below the "bathhouse" where we had stood the day before, the well-preserved ruins of two buildings of superior construction, well fitted with stone-pegs and numerous niches, very symmetrically arranged. These houses stood by themselves on a little artificial terrace. Fragments of characteristic Inca pottery were found on the floor, including pieces of a large aryballus.

Nothing gives a better idea of the density of the jungle than the fact that the savages themselves had often been within five feet of these fine walls without being aware of their existence.

Encouraged by this important discovery of the most characteristic Inca ruins found in the valley, we continued the search, but all that any one was able to find was a carefully built stone bridge over a brook. Saavedra's son questioned the savages carefully. They said they knew of no other antiquities. Who built the stone buildings of Espiritu Pampa and Eromboni Pampa? Was this the "Vilcabamba Viejo" of Father Calancha, that "University of Idolatry where lived the teachers who were wizards and masters of abomination," the place to which Friar Marcos and Friar Diego went with so much suffering? Was there formerly on this trail a place called Ungacacha where the monks had to wade, and amused Titu Cusi by the way they handled their monastic robes in the water? They called it a "three days' journey over rough country." Another reference in Father Calancha speaks of Puquiura as being "two long days' journey from Vilcabamba." It took us five days to go from Espiritu Pampa to Pucyura, although Indians, unencumbered by burdens, and spurred on by necessity, might do it in three. It is possible to fit some other details of the story into this locality, although there is no place on the road called Ungacacha. Nevertheless it does not seem to me reasonable to suppose that the priests and Virgins of the Sun (the personnel of the "University of Idolatry") who fled from cold Cuzco with Manco and were established by him somewhere in the fastnesses of Uilcapampa would have cared to live in the hot valley of Espiritu Pampa. The difference in climate is as great as that between Scotland and Egypt, or New York and Havana. They would not have found in Espiritu Pampa the food which they liked. Furthermore, they could have found the seclusion and safety which they craved just as well in several other parts of the province, particularly at Machu Picchu, together with a cool, bracing climate and food-stuffs more nearly resembling those to which they were accustomed. Finally Calancha says "Vilcabamba the Old" was "the largest city" in the province, a term far more applicable to Machu Picchu or even to Choqquequirau than to Espiritu Pampa.

On the other hand there seems to be no doubt that Espiritu Pampa in the montana does meet the requirements of the place called Vilcabamba by the companions of Captain Garcia. They speak of it as the town and valley to which Tupac Amaru, the last Inca, escaped after his forces lost the "young fortress" of Uiticos. Ocampo, doubtless wishing to emphasize the difference between it and his own metropolis, the Spanish town of Vilcabamba, calls the refuge of Tupac "Vilcabamba the old." Ocampo's new "Vilcabamba" was not in existence when Friar Marcos and Friar Diego lived in this province. If Calancha wrote his chronicles from their notes, the term "old" would not apply to Espiritu Pampa, but to an older Vilcabamba than either of the places known to Ocampo.

The ruins are of late Inca pattern, not of a kind which would have required a long period to build. The unfinished building may have been under construction during the latter part of the reign of Titu Cusi. It was Titu Cusi's desire that Rodriguez de Figueroa should meet him at Pampaconas. The Inca evidently came from a Vilcabamba down in the montana, and, as has been said, brought Rodriguez a present of a macaw and two hampers of peanuts, articles of trade still common at Conservidayoc. There appears to me every reason to believe that the ruins of Espiritu Pampa are those of one of the favorite residences of this Inca—the very Vilcabamba, in fact, where he spent his boyhood and from which he journeyed to meet Rodriguez in 1565. [13]

In 1572, when Captain Garcia took up the pursuit of Tupac Amaru after the victory of Vilcabamba, the Inca fled "inland toward the valley of Sima-ponte ... to the country of the Manaries Indians, a warlike tribe and his friends, where balsas and canoes were posted to save him and enable him to escape." There is now no valley in this vicinity called Simaponte, so far as we have been able to discover. The Manaries Indians are said to have lived on the banks of the lower Urubamba. In order to reach their country Tupac Amaru probably went down the Pampaconas from Espiritu Pampa. From the "Pampa of Ghosts" to canoe navigation would have been but a short journey. Evidently his friends who helped him to escape were canoe-men. Captain Garcia gives an account of the pursuit of Tupac Amaru in which he says that, not deterred by the dangers of the jungle or the river, he constructed five rafts on which he put some of his soldiers and, accompanying them himself, went down the rapids, escaping death many times by swimming, until he arrived at a place called Momori, only to find that the Inca, learning of his approach, had gone farther into the woods. Nothing daunted, Garcia followed him, although he and his men now had to go on foot and barefooted, with hardly anything to eat, most of their provisions having been lost in the river, until they finally caught Tupac and his friends; a tragic ending to a terrible chase, hard on the white man and fatal for the Incas.

It was with great regret that I was now unable to follow the Pampaconas River to its junction with the Urubamba. It seemed possible that the Pampaconas might be known as the Sirialo, or the Cori-beni, both of which were believed by Dr. Bowman's canoe-men to rise in the mountains of Vilcabamba. It was not, however, until the summer of 1915 that we were able definitely to learn that the Pampaconas was really a branch of the Cosireni. It seems likely that the Cosireni was once called the "Sima-ponte." Whether the Comberciato is the "Momori" is hard to say.

To be the next to follow in the footsteps of Tupac Amaru and Captain Garcia was the privilege of Messrs. Heller, Ford, and Maynard. They found that the unpleasant features had not been exaggerated. They were tormented by insects and great quantities of ants—a small red ant found on tree trunks, and a large black one, about an inch in length, frequently seen among the leaves on the ground. The bite of the red ant caused a stinging and burning for about fifteen minutes. One of their carriers who was bitten in the foot by a black ant suffered intense pain for a number of hours. Not only his foot, but also his leg and hip were affected. The savages were both fishermen and hunters; the fish being taken with nets, the game killed with bows and arrows. Peccaries were shot from a blind made of palm leaves a few feet from a runway. Fishing brought rather meager results. Three Indians fished all night and caught only one fish, a perch weighing about four pounds.

The temperature was so high that candles could easily be tied in knots. Excessive humidity caused all leather articles to become blue with mould. Clouds of flies and mosquitoes increased the likelihood of spreading communicable jungle fevers.

The river Comberciato was reached by Mr. Heller at a point not more than a league from its junction with the Urubamba. The lower course of the Comberciato is not considered dangerous to canoe navigation, but the valley is much narrower than the Cosireni. The width of the river is about 150 feet and its volume is twice that of the Cosireni. The climate is very trying. The nights are hot. Insect pests are numerous. Mr. Heller found that "the forest was filled with annoying, though sting-less, bees which persisted in attempting to roost on the countenance of any human being available." On the banks of the Comberciato he found several families of savages. All the men were keen hunters and fishermen. Their weapons consisted of powerful bows made from the wood of a small palm and long arrows made of reeds and finished with feathers arranged in a spiral.

Monkeys were abundant. Specimens of six distinct genera were found, including the large red howler, inert and easily located by its deep, roaring bellow which can be heard for a distance of several miles; the giant black spider monkey, very alert, and, when frightened, fairly flying through the branches at astonishing speed; and a woolly monkey, black in color, and very intelligent in expression, frequently tamed by the savages, who "enjoy having them as pets but are not averse to eating them when food is scarce." "The flesh of monkeys is greatly appreciated by these Indians, who preserved what they did not require for immediate needs by drying it over the smoke of a wood fire."

On the Cosireni Mr. Maynard noticed that one of his Indian guides carried a package, wrapped in leaves, which on being opened proved to contain forty or fifty large hairless grubs or caterpillars. The man finally bit their heads off and threw the bodies into a small bag, saying that the grubs were considered a great delicacy by the savages.

The Indians we met at Espiritu Pampa closely resembled those seen in the lower valley. All our savages were bareheaded and barefooted. They live so much in the shelter of the jungle that hats are not necessary. Sandals or shoes would only make it harder to use the slippery little trails. They had seen no strangers penetrate this valley for about ten years, and at first kept their wives and children well secluded. Later, when Messrs. Hendriksen and Tucker were sent here to determine the astronomical position of Espiritu Pampa, the savages permitted Mr. Tucker to take photographs of their families. Perhaps it is doubtful whether they knew just what he was doing. At all events they did not run away and hide.


Campa Men at Espiritu Pampa ———


Campa Women and Children at Espiritu Pampa ———

All the men and older boys wore white fillets of bamboo. The married men had smeared paint on their faces, and one of them was wearing the characteristic lip ornament of the Campas. Some of the children wore no clothing at all. Two of the wives wore long tunics like the men. One of them had a truly savage face, daubed with paint. She wore no fillet, had the best tunic, and wore a handsome necklace made of seeds and the skins of small birds of brilliant plumage, a work of art which must have cost infinite pains and the loss of not a few arrows. All the women carried babies in little hammocks slung over the shoulder. One little girl, not more than six years old, was carrying on her back a child of two, in a hammock supported from her head by a tump-line. It will be remembered that forest Indians nearly always use tump-lines so as to allow their hands free play. One of the wives was fairer than the others and looked as though she might have had a Spanish ancestor. The most savage-looking of the women was very scantily clad, wore a necklace of seeds, a white lip ornament, and a few rags tied around her waist. All her children were naked. The children of the woman with the handsome necklace were clothed in pieces of old tunics, and one of them, evidently her mother's favorite, was decorated with bird skins and a necklace made from the teeth of monkeys.

Such were the people among whom Tupac Amaru took refuge when he fled from Vilcabamba. Whether he partook of such a delicacy as monkey meat, which all Amazonian Indians relish, but which is not eaten by the highlanders, may be doubted. Garcilasso speaks of Tupac Amaru's preferring to entrust himself to the hands of the Spaniards "rather than to perish of famine." His Indian allies lived perfectly well in a region where monkeys abound. It is doubtful whether they would ever have permitted Captain Garcia to capture the Inca had they been able to furnish Tupac with such food as he was accustomed to.

At all events our investigations seem to point to the probability of this valley having been an important part of the domain of the last Incas. It would have been pleasant to prolong our studies, but the carriers were anxious to return to Pampaconas. Although they did not have to eat monkey meat, they were afraid of the savages and nervous as to what use the latter might some day make of the powerful bows and long arrows.

At Conservidayoc Saavedra kindly took the trouble to make some sugar for us. He poured the syrup in oblong moulds cut in a row along the side of a big log of hard wood. In some of the moulds his son placed handfuls of nicely roasted peanuts. The result was a confection or "emergency ration" which we greatly enjoyed on our return journey.

At San Fernando we met the pack mules. The next day, in the midst of continuing torrential tropical downpours, we climbed out of the hot valley to the cold heights of Pampaconas. We were soaked with perspiration and drenched with rain. Snow had been falling above the village; our teeth chattered like castanets. Professor Foote immediately commandeered Mrs. Guzman's fire and filled our tea kettle. It may be doubted whether a more wretched, cold, wet, and bedraggled party ever arrived at Guzman's hut; certainly nothing ever tasted better than that steaming hot sweet tea.


The Story of Tampu-tocco, a Lost City of the First Incas

It will be remembered that while on the search for the capital of the last Incas we had found several groups of ruins which we could not fit entirely into the story of Manco and his sons. The most important of these was Machu Picchu. Many of its buildings are far older than the ruins of Rosaspata and Espiritu Pampa. To understand just what we may have found at Machu Picchu it is now necessary to tell the story of a celebrated city, whose name, Tampu-tocco, was not used even at the time of the Spanish Conquest as the cognomen of any of the Inca towns then in existence. I must draw the reader's attention far away from the period when Pizarro and Manco, Toledo and Tupac Amaru were the protagonists, back to events which occurred nearly seven hundred years before their day. The last Incas ruled in Uiticos between 1536 and 1572. The last Amautas flourished about 800 A.D.


Puma Urco, near Paccaritampu ———

The Amautas had been ruling the Peruvian highlands for about sixty generations, when, as has been told in Chapter VI, invaders came from the south and east. The Amautas had built up a wonderful civilization. Many of the agricultural and engineering feats which we ordinarily assign to the Incas were really achievements of the Amautas. The last of the Amautas was Pachacuti VI, who was killed by an arrow on the battle-field of La Raya. The historian Montesinos, whose work on the antiquities of Peru has recently been translated for the Hakluyt Society by Mr. P. A. Means, of Harvard University, tells us that the followers of Pachacuti VI fled with his body to "Tampu-tocco." This, says the historian, was "a healthy place" where there was a cave in which they hid the Amauta's body. Cuzco, the finest and most important of all their cities, was sacked. General anarchy prevailed throughout the ancient empire. The good old days of peace and plenty disappeared before the invader. The glory of the old empire was destroyed, not to return for several centuries. In these dark ages, resembling those of European medieval times which followed the Germanic migrations and the fall of the Roman Empire, Peru was split up into a large number of small independent units. Each district chose its own ruler and carried on depredations against its neighbors. The effects of this may still be seen in the ruins of small fortresses found guarding the way into isolated Andean valleys.

Montesinos says that those who were most loyal to the Amautas were few in number and not strong enough to oppose their enemies successfully. Some of them, probably the principal priests, wise men, and chiefs of the ancient regime, built a new city at "Tampu-tocco." Here they kept alive the memory of the Amautas and lived in such a relatively civilized manner as to draw to them, little by little, those who wished to be safe from the prevailing chaos and disorder and the tyranny of the independent chiefs or "robber barons." In their new capital, they elected a king, Titi Truaman Quicho.

The survivors of the old regime enjoyed living at Tampu-tocco, because there never have been any earthquakes, plagues, or tremblings there. Furthermore, if fortune should turn against their new young king, Titi Truaman, and he should be killed, they could bury him in a very sacred place, namely, the cave where they hid the body of Pachacuti VI.

Fortune was kind to the founders of the new kingdom. They had chosen an excellent place of refuge where they were not disturbed. To their ruler, the king of Tampu-tocco, and to his successors nothing worth recording happened for centuries. During this period several of the kings wished to establish themselves in ancient Cuzco, where the great Amautas had reigned, but for one reason or another were obliged to forego their ambitions.

One of the most enlightened rulers of Tampu-tocco was a king called Tupac Cauri, or Pachacuti VII. In his day people began to write on the leaves of trees. He sent messengers to the various parts of the highlands, asking the tribes to stop worshiping idols and animals, to cease practicing evil customs which had grown up since the fall of the Amautas, and to return to the ways of their ancestors. He met with little encouragement. On the contrary, his ambassadors were killed and little or no change took place. Discouraged by the failure of his attempts at reformation and desirous of learning its cause, Tupac Cauri was told by his soothsayers that the matter which most displeased the gods was the invention of writing. Thereupon he forbade anybody to practice writing, under penalty of death. This mandate was observed with such strictness that the ancient folk never again used letters. Instead, they used quipus, strings and knots. It was supposed that the gods were appeased, and every one breathed easier. No one realized how near the Peruvians as a race had come to taking a most momentous step.

This curious and interesting tradition relates to an event supposed to have occurred many centuries before the Spanish Conquest. We have no ocular evidence to support it. The skeptic may brush it aside as a story intended to appeal to the vanity of persons with Inca blood in their veins; yet it is not told by the half-caste Garcilasso, who wanted Europeans to admire his maternal ancestors and wrote his book accordingly, but is in the pages of that careful investigator Montesinos, a pure-blooded Spaniard. As a matter of fact, to students of Sumner's "Folkways," the story rings true. Some young fellow, brighter than the rest, developed a system of ideographs which he scratched on broad, smooth leaves. It worked. People were beginning to adopt it. The conservative priests of Tampu-tocco did not like it. There was danger lest some of the precious secrets, heretofore handed down orally to the neophytes, might become public property. Nevertheless, the invention was so useful that it began to spread. There followed some extremely unlucky event—the ambassadors were killed, the king's plans miscarried. What more natural than that the newly discovered ideographs should be blamed for it? As a result, the king of Tampu-tocco, instigated thereto by the priests, determined to abolish this new thing. Its usefulness had not yet been firmly established. In fact it was inconvenient; the leaves withered, dried, and cracked, or blew away, and the writings were lost. Had the new invention been permitted to exist a little longer, some one would have commenced to scratch ideographs on rocks. Then it would have persisted. The rulers and priests, however, found that the important records of tribute and taxes could be kept perfectly well by means of the quipus. And the "job" of those whose duty it was to remember what each string stood for was assured. After all there is nothing unusual about Montesinos' story. One has only to look at the history of Spain itself to realize that royal bigotry and priestly intolerance have often crushed new ideas and kept great nations from making important advances.

Montesinos says further that Tupac Cauri established in Tampu-tocco a kind of university where boys were taught the use of quipus, the method of counting and the significance of the different colored strings, while their fathers and older brothers were trained in military exercises—in other words, practiced with the sling, the bolas and the war-club; perhaps also with bows and arrows. Around the name of Tupac Cauri, or Pachacuti VII, as he wished to be called, is gathered the story of various intellectual movements which took place in Tampu-tocco. Finally, there came a time when the skill and military efficiency of the little kingdom rose to a high plane. The ruler and his councilors, bearing in mind the tradition of their ancestors who centuries before had dwelt in Cuzco, again determined to make the attempt to reestablish themselves there. An earthquake, which ruined many buildings in Cuzco, caused rivers to change their courses, destroyed towns, and was followed by the outbreak of a disastrous epidemic. The chiefs were obliged to give up their plans, although in healthy Tampu-tocco there was no pestilence. Their kingdom became more and more crowded. Every available square yard of arable land was terraced and cultivated. The men were intelligent, well organized, and accustomed to discipline, but they could not raise enough food for their families; so, about 1300 A.D., they were forced to secure arable land by conquest, under the leadership of the energetic ruler of the day. His name was Manco Ccapac, generally called the first Inca, the ruler for whom the Manco of 1536 was named.

There are many stories of the rise of the first Inca. When he had grown to man's estate, he assembled his people to see how he could secure new lands for them. After consultation with his brothers, he determined to set out with them "toward the hill over which the sun rose," as we are informed by Pachacuti Yamqui Salcamayhua, an Indian who was a descendant of a long line of Incas, whose great-grandparents lived in the time of the Spanish Conquest, and who wrote an account of the antiquities of Peru in 1620. He gives the history of the Incas as it was handed down to the descendants of the former rulers of Peru. In it we read that Manco Ccapac and his brothers finally succeeded in reaching Cuzco and settled there. With the return of the descendants of the Amautas to Cuzco there ended the glory of Tampu-tocco. Manco married his own sister in order that he might not lose caste and that no other family be elevated by this marriage to be on an equality with his. He made good laws, conquered many provinces, and is regarded as the founder of the Inca dynasty. The highlanders came under his sway and brought him rich presents. The Inca, as Manco Ccapac now came to be known, was recognized as the most powerful chief, the most valiant fighter, and the most lucky warrior in the Andes. His captains and soldiers were brave, well disciplined, and well armed. All his affairs prospered greatly. "Afterward he ordered works to be executed at the place of his birth, consisting of a masonry wall with three windows, which were emblems of the house of his fathers whence he descended. The first window was called Tampu-tocco." I quote from Sir Clements Markham's translation.


The Best Inca Wall at Maucallacta, near Paccaritampu ———


The Caves of Puma Urco, near Paccaritampu ———

The Spaniards who asked about Tampu-tocco were told that it was at or near Paccaritampu, a small town eight or ten miles south of Cuzco. I learned that ruins are very scarce in its vicinity. There are none in the town. The most important are the ruins of Maucallacta, an Inca village, a few miles away. Near it I found a rocky hill consisting of several crags and large rocks, the surface of one of which is carved into platforms and two sleeping pumas. It is called Puma Urco. Beneath the rocks are some caves. I was told they had recently been used by political refugees. There is enough about the caves and the characteristics of the ruins near Paccaritampu to lend color to the story told to the early Spaniards. Nevertheless, it would seem as if Tampu-tocco must have been a place more remote from Cuzco and better defended by Nature from any attacks on that side. How else would it have been possible for the disorganized remnant of Pachacuti VI's army to have taken refuge there and set up an independent kingdom in the face of the warlike invaders from the south? A few men might have hid in the caves of Puma Urco, but Paccaritampu is not a natural citadel.

The surrounding region is not difficult of access. There are no precipices between here and the Cuzco Basin. There are no natural defenses against such an invading force as captured the capital of the Amautas. Furthermore, tampu means "a place of temporary abode," or "a tavern," or "an improved piece of ground" or "farm far from a town"; tocco means "window." There is an old tavern at Maucallacta near Paccaritampu, but there are no windows in the building to justify the name of "window tavern" or "place of temporary abode" (or "farm far from a town") "noted for its windows." There is nothing of a "masonry wall with three windows" corresponding to Salcamayhua's description of Manco Ccapac's memorial at his birthplace. The word "Tampu-tocco" does not occur on any map I have been able to consult, nor is it in the exhaustive gazetteer of Peru compiled by Paz Soldan.


Machu Picchu

It was in July, 1911, that we first entered that marvelous canyon of the Urubamba, where the river escapes from the cold regions near Cuzco by tearing its way through gigantic mountains of granite. From Torontoy to Colpani the road runs through a land of matchless charm. It has the majestic grandeur of the Canadian Rockies, as well as the startling beauty of the Nuuanu Pali near Honolulu, and the enchanting vistas of the Koolau Ditch Trail on Maul. In the variety of its charms and the power of its spell, I know of no place in the world which can compare with it. Not only has it great snow peaks looming above the clouds more than two miles overhead; gigantic precipices of many-colored granite rising sheer for thousands of feet above the foaming, glistening, roaring rapids; it has also, in striking contrast, orchids and tree ferns, the delectable beauty of luxurious vegetation, and the mysterious witchery of the jungle. One is drawn irresistibly onward by ever-recurring surprises through a deep, winding gorge, turning and twisting past overhanging cliffs of incredible height. Above all, there is the fascination of finding here and there under the swaying vines, or perched on top of a beetling crag, the rugged masonry of a bygone race; and of trying to understand the bewildering romance of the ancient builders who ages ago sought refuge in a region which appears to have been expressly designed by Nature as a sanctuary for the oppressed, a place where they might fearlessly and patiently give expression to their passion for walls of enduring beauty. Space forbids any attempt to describe in detail the constantly changing panorama, the rank tropical foliage, the countless terraces, the towering cliffs, the glaciers peeping out between the clouds.

We had camped at a place near the river, called Mandor Pampa. Melchor Arteaga, proprietor of the neighboring farm, had told us of ruins at Machu Picchu, as was related in Chapter X.

The morning of July 24th dawned in a cold drizzle. Arteaga shivered and seemed inclined to stay in his hut. I offered to pay him well if he would show me the ruins. He demurred and said it was too hard a climb for such a wet day. When he found that we were willing to pay him a sol, three or four times the ordinary daily wage in this vicinity, he finally agreed to guide us to the ruins. No one supposed that they would be particularly interesting. Accompanied by Sergeant Carrasco I left camp at ten o'clock and went some distance upstream. On the road we passed a venomous snake which recently had been killed. This region has an unpleasant notoriety for being the favorite haunt of "vipers." The lance-headed or yellow viper, commonly known as the fer-de-lance, a very venomous serpent capable of making considerable springs when in pursuit of its prey, is common hereabouts. Later two of our mules died from snake-bite.

After a walk of three quarters of an hour the guide left the main road and plunged down through the jungle to the bank of the river. Here there was a primitive "bridge" which crossed the roaring rapids at its narrowest part, where the stream was forced to flow between two great boulders. The bridge was made of half a dozen very slender logs, some of which were not long enough to span the distance between the boulders. They had been spliced and lashed together with vines. Arteaga and Carrasco took off their shoes and crept gingerly across, using their somewhat prehensile toes to keep from slipping. It was obvious that no one could have lived for an instant in the rapids, but would immediately have been dashed to pieces against granite boulders. I am frank to confess that I got down on hands and knees and crawled across, six inches at a time. Even after we reached the other side I could not help wondering what would happen to the "bridge" if a particularly heavy shower should fall in the valley above. A light rain had fallen during the night. The river had risen so that the bridge was already threatened by the foaming rapids. It would not take much more rain to wash away the bridge entirely. If this should happen during the day it might be very awkward. As a matter of fact, it did happen a few days later and the next explorers to attempt to cross the river at this point found only one slender log remaining.

Leaving the stream, we struggled up the bank through a dense jungle, and in a few minutes reached the bottom of a precipitous slope. For an hour and twenty minutes we had a hard climb. A good part of the distance we went on all fours, sometimes hanging on by the tips of our fingers. Here and there, a primitive ladder made from the roughly hewn trunk of a small tree was placed in such a way as to help one over what might otherwise have proved to be an impassable cliff. In another place the slope was covered with slippery grass where it was hard to find either handholds or footholds. The guide said that there were lots of snakes here. The humidity was great, the heat was excessive, and we were not in training.

Shortly after noon we reached a little grass-covered hut where several good-natured Indians, pleasantly surprised at our unexpected arrival, welcomed us with dripping gourds full of cool, delicious water. Then they set before us a few cooked sweet potatoes, called here cumara, a Quichua word identical with the Polynesian kumala, as has been pointed out by Mr. Cook.

Apart from the wonderful view of the canyon, all we could see from our cool shelter was a couple of small grass huts and a few ancient stone-faced terraces. Two pleasant Indian farmers, Richarte and Alvarez, had chosen this eagle's nest for their home. They said they had found plenty of terraces here on which to grow their crops and they were usually free from undesirable visitors. They did not speak Spanish, but through Sergeant Carrasco I learned that there were more ruins "a little farther along." In this country one never can tell whether such a report is worthy of credence. "He may have been lying" is a good footnote to affix to all hearsay evidence. Accordingly, I was not unduly excited, nor in a great hurry to move. The heat was still great, the water from the Indian's spring was cool and delicious, and the rustic wooden bench, hospitably covered immediately after my arrival with a soft, woolen poncho, seemed most comfortable. Furthermore, the view was simply enchanting. Tremendous green precipices fell away to the white rapids of the Urubamba below. Immediately in front, on the north side of the valley, was a great granite cliff rising 2000 feet sheer. To the left was the solitary peak of Huayna Picchu, surrounded by seemingly inaccessible precipices. On all sides were rocky cliffs. Beyond them cloud-capped mountains rose thousands of feet above us.

The Indians said there were two paths to the outside world. Of one we had already had a taste; the other, they said, was more difficult—a perilous path down the face of a rocky precipice on the other side of the ridge. It was their only means of egress in the wet season, when the bridge over which we had come could not be maintained. I was not surprised to learn that they went away from home only "about once a month."

Richarte told us that they had been living here four years. It seems probable that, owing to its inaccessibility, the canyon had been unoccupied for several centuries, but with the completion of the new government road settlers began once more to occupy this region. In time somebody clambered up the precipices and found on the slopes of Machu Picchu, at an elevation of 9000 feet above the sea, an abundance of rich soil conveniently situated on artificial terraces, in a fine climate. Here the Indians had finally cleared off some ruins, burned over a few terraces, and planted crops of maize, sweet and white potatoes, sugar cane, beans, peppers, tree tomatoes, and gooseberries. At first they appropriated some of the ancient houses and replaced the roofs of wood and thatch. They found, however, that there were neither springs nor wells near the ancient buildings. An ancient aqueduct which had once brought a tiny stream to the citadel had long since disappeared beneath the forest, filled with earth washed from the upper terraces. So, abandoning the shelter of the ruins, the Indians were now enjoying the convenience of living near some springs in roughly built thatched huts of their own design.

Without the slightest expectation of finding anything more interesting than the stone-faced terraces of which I already had a glimpse, and the ruins of two or three stone houses such as we had encountered at various places on the road between Ollantaytambo and Torontoy, I finally left the cool shade of the pleasant little hut and climbed farther up the ridge and around a slight promontory. Arteaga had "been here once before," and decided to rest and gossip with Richarte and Alvarez in the hut. They sent a small boy with me as a guide.

Hardly had we rounded the promontory when the character of the stonework began to improve. A flight of beautifully constructed terraces, each two hundred yards long and ten feet high, had then recently rescued from the jungle by the Indians. A forest of large trees had been chopped down and burned over to make a clearing for agricultural purposes. Crossing these terraces, I entered the untouched forest beyond, and suddenly found myself in a maze of beautiful granite houses! They were covered with trees and moss and the growth of centuries, but in the dense shadow, hiding in bamboo thickets and tangled vines, could be seen, here and there, walls of white granite ashlars most carefully cut and exquisitely fitted together. Buildings with windows were frequent. Here at least was a "place far from town and conspicuous for its windows."


Flashlight view of Interior of Cave, Machu Picchu ———


Temple over Cave at Machu Picchu Suggested by the Author as the Probable Site of Tampu-Tocco ———

Under a carved rock the little boy showed me a cave beautifully lined with the finest cut stone. It was evidently intended to be a Royal Mausoleum. On top of this particular boulder a semicircular building had been constructed. The wall followed the natural curvature of the rock and was keyed to it by one of the finest examples of masonry I have ever seen. This beautiful wall, made of carefully matched ashlars of pure white granite, especially selected for its fine grain, was the work of a master artist. The interior surface of the wall was broken by niches and square stone-pegs. The exterior surface was perfectly simple and unadorned. The lower courses, of particularly large ashlars, gave it a look of solidity. The upper courses, diminishing in size toward the top, lent grace and delicacy to the structure. The flowing lines, the symmetrical arrangement of the ashlars, and the gradual gradation of the courses, combined to produce a wonderful effect, softer and more pleasing than that of the marble temples of the Old World. Owing to the absence of mortar, there are no ugly spaces between the rocks. They might have grown together.

The elusive beauty of this chaste, undecorated surface seems to me to be due to the fact that the wall was built under the eye of a master mason who knew not the straight edge, the plumb rule, or the square. He had no instruments of precision, so he had to depend on his eye. He had a good eye, an artistic eye, an eye for symmetry and beauty of form. His product received none of the harshness of mechanical and mathematical accuracy. The apparently rectangular blocks are not really rectangular. The apparently straight lines of the courses are not actually straight in the exact sense of that term.

To my astonishment I saw that this wall and its adjoining semicircular temple over the cave were as fine as the finest stonework in the far-famed Temple of the Sun in Cuzco. Surprise followed surprise in bewildering succession. I climbed a marvelous great stairway of large granite blocks, walked along a pampa where the Indians had a small vegetable garden, and came into a little clearing. Here were the ruins of two of the finest structures I have ever seen in Peru. Not only were they made of selected blocks of beautifully grained white granite; their walls contained ashlars of Cyclopean size, ten feet in length, and higher than a man. The sight held me spellbound.

Each building had only three walls and was entirely open on the side toward the clearing. The principal temple was lined with exquisitely made niches, five high up at each end, and seven on the back wall. There were seven courses of ashlars in the end walls. Under the seven rear niches was a rectangular block fourteen feet long, probably a sacrificial altar. The building did not look as though it had ever had a roof. The top course of beautifully smooth ashlars was not intended to be covered.

The other temple is on the east side of the pampa. I called it the Temple of the Three Windows. Like its neighbor, it is unique among Inca ruins. Its eastern wall, overlooking the citadel, is a massive stone framework for three conspicuously large windows, obviously too large to serve any useful purpose, yet most beautifully made with the greatest care and solidity. This was clearly a ceremonial edifice of peculiar significance. Nowhere else in Peru, so far as I know, is there a similar structure conspicuous as "a masonry wall with three windows."

These ruins have no other name than that of the mountain on the slopes of which they are located. Had this place been occupied uninterruptedly, like Cuzco and Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu would have retained its ancient name, but during the centuries when it was abandoned, its name was lost. Examination showed that it was essentially a fortified place, a remote fastness protected by natural bulwarks, of which man took advantage to create the most impregnable stronghold in the Andes. Our subsequent excavations and the clearing made in 1912, to be described in a subsequent volume, has shown that this was the chief place in Uilcapampa.

It did not take an expert to realize, from the glimpse of Machu Picchu on that rainy day in July, 1911, when Sergeant Carrasco and I first saw it, that here were most extraordinary and interesting ruins. Although the ridge had been partly cleared by the Indians for their fields of maize, so much of it was still underneath a thick jungle growth—some walls were actually supporting trees ten and twelve inches in diameter—that it was impossible to determine just what would be found here. As soon as I could get hold of Mr. Tucker, who was assisting Mr. Hendriksen, and Mr. Lanius, who had gone down the Urubamba with Dr. Bowman, I asked them to make a map of the ruins. I knew it would be a difficult undertaking and that it was essential for Mr. Tucker to join me in Arequipa not later than the first of October for the ascent of Coropuna. With the hearty aid of Richarte and Alvarez, the surveyors did better than I expected. In the ten days while they were at the ruins they were able to secure data from which Mr. Tucker afterwards prepared a map which told better than could any words of mine the importance of this site and the necessity for further investigation.

With the possible exception of one mining prospector, no one in Cuzco had seen the ruins of Machu Picchu or appreciated their importance. No one had any realization of what an extraordinary place lay on top of the ridge. It had never been visited by any of the planters of the lower Urubamba Valley who annually passed over the road which winds through the canyon two thousand feet below.

It seems incredible that this citadel, less than three days' journey from Cuzco, should have remained so long undescribed by travelers and comparatively unknown even to the Peruvians themselves. If the conquistadores ever saw this wonderful place, some reference to it surely would have been made; yet nothing can be found which clearly refers to the ruins of Machu Picchu. Just when it was first seen by a Spanish-speaking person is uncertain. When the Count de Sartiges was at Huadquina in 1834 he was looking for ruins; yet, although so near, he heard of none here. From a crude scrawl on the walls of one of the finest buildings, we learned that the ruins were visited in 1902 by Lizarraga, lessee of the lands immediately below the bridge of San Miguel. This is the earliest local record. Yet some one must have visited Machu Picchu long before that; because in 1875, as has been said, the French explorer Charles Wiener heard in Ollantaytambo of there being ruins at "Huaina-Picchu or Matcho-Picchu." He tried to find them. That he failed was due to there being no road through the canyon of Torontoy and the necessity of making a wide detour through the pass of Panticalla and the Lucumayo Valley, a route which brought him to the Urubamba River at the bridge of Chuquichaca, twenty-five miles below Machu Picchu.


Detail of Exterior of Temple of the Three Windows, Machu Picchu ———


Detail of Principal Temple Machu Picchu ———

It was not until 1890 that the Peruvian Government, recognizing the needs of the enterprising planters who were opening up the lower valley of the Urubamba, decided to construct a mule trail along the banks of the river through the grand canyon to enable the much-desired coca and aguardiente to be shipped from Huadquina, Maranura, and Santa Ann to Cuzco more quickly and cheaply than formerly. This road avoids the necessity of carrying the precious cargoes over the dangerous snowy passes of Mt. Veronica and Mt. Salcantay, so vividly described by Raimondi, de Sartiges, and others. The road, however, was very expensive, took years to build, and still requires frequent repair. In fact, even to-day travel over it is often suspended for several days or weeks at a time, following some tremendous avalanche. Yet it was this new road which had led Melchor Arteaga to build his hut near the arable land at Mandor Pampa, where he could raise food for his family and offer rough shelter to passing travelers. It was this new road which brought Richarte, Alvarez, and their enterprising friends into this little-known region, gave them the opportunity of occupying the ancient terraces of Machu Picchu, which had lain fallow for centuries, encouraged them to keep open a passable trail over the precipices, and made it feasible for us to reach the ruins. It was this new road which offered us in 1911 a virgin field between Ollantaytambo and Huadquina and enabled us to learn that the Incas, or their predecessors, had once lived here in the remote fastnesses of the Andes, and had left stone witnesses of the magnificence and beauty of their ancient civilization, more interesting and extensive than any which have been found since the days of the Spanish Conquest of Peru.


The Origin of Machu Picchu

Some other day I hope to tell of the work of clearing and excavating Machu Picchu, of the life lived by its citizens, and of the ancient towns of which it was the most important. At present I must rest content with a discussion of its probable identity. Here was a powerful citadel tenable against all odds, a stronghold where a mere handful of defenders could prevent a great army from taking the place by assault. Why should any one have desired to be so secure from capture as to have built a fortress in such an inaccessible place?

The builders were not in search of fields. There is so little arable land here that every square yard of earth had to be terraced in order to provide food for the inhabitants. They were not looking for comfort or convenience. Safety was their primary consideration. They were sufficiently civilized to practice intensive agriculture, sufficiently skillful to equal the best masonry the world has ever seen, sufficiently ingenious to make delicate bronzes, and sufficiently advanced in art to realize the beauty of simplicity. What could have induced such a people to select this remote fastness of the Andes, with all its disadvantages, as the site for their capital, unless they were fleeing from powerful enemies.

The thought will already have occurred to the reader that the Temple of the Three Windows at Machu Picchu fits the words of that native writer who had "heard from a child the most ancient traditions and histories," including the story already quoted from Sir Clements Markham's translation that Manco Ccapac, the first Inca, "ordered works to be executed at the place of his birth; consisting of a masonry wall with three windows, which were emblems of the house of his fathers whence he descended. The first window was called 'Tampu-tocco.' " Although none of the other chroniclers gives the story of the first Inca ordering a memorial wall to be built at the place of his birth, they nearly all tell of his having come from a place called Tampu-tocco, "an inn or country place remarkable for its windows." Sir Clements Markham, in his "Incas of Peru," refers to Tampu-tocco as "the hill with the three openings or windows."

The place assigned by all the chroniclers as the location of the traditional Tampu-tocco, as has been said, is Paccaritampu, about nine miles southwest of Cuzco. Paccaritampu has some interesting ruins and caves, but careful examination shows that while there are more than three openings to its caves, there are no windows in its buildings. The buildings of Machu Picchu, on the other hand, have far more windows than any other important ruin in Peru. The climate of Paccaritampu, like that of most places in the highlands, is too severe to invite or encourage the use of windows. The climate of Machu Picchu is mild, consequently the use of windows was natural and agreeable.

So far as I know, there is no place in Peru where the ruins consist of anything like a "masonry wall with three windows" of such a ceremonial character as is here referred to, except at Machu Picchu. It would certainly seem as though the Temple of the Three Windows, the most significant structure within the citadel, is the building referred to by Pachacuti Yamqui Saleamayhua.


The Masonry Wall with Three Windows, Machu Picchu ———

The principal difficulty with this theory is that while the first meaning of tocco in Holguin's standard Quichua dictionary is "ventana" or "window," and while "window" is the only meaning given this important word in Markham's revised Quichua dictionary (1908), a dictionary compiled from many sources, the second meaning of tocco given by Holguin is "alacena," "a cupboard set in a wall." Undoubtedly this means what we call, in the ruins of the houses of the Incas, a niche. Now the drawings, crude as they are, in Sir Clements Markham's translation of the Salcamayhua manuscript, do give the impression of niches rather than of windows. Does Tampu-tocco mean a tampu remarkable for its niches? At Paccaritampu there do not appear to be any particularly fine niches; while at Machu Picchu, on the other hand, there are many very beautiful niches, especially in the cave which has been referred to as a "Royal Mausoleum." As a matter of fact, nearly all the finest ruins of the Incas have excellent niches. Since niches were so common a feature of Inca architecture, the chances are that Sir Clements is right in translating Salcamayhua as he did and in calling Tampu-tocco "the hill with the three openings or windows." In any case Machu Picchu fits the story far better than does Paccaritampu. However, in view of the fact that the early writers all repeat the story that Tampu-tocco was at Paccaritampu, it would be absurd to say that they did not know what they were talking about, even though the actual remains at or near Paccaritampu do not fit the requirements.

It would be easier to adopt Paccaritampu as the site of Tampu-tocco were it not for the legal records of an inquiry made by Toledo at the time when he put the last Inca to death. Fifteen Indians, descended from those who used to live near Las Salinas, the important salt works near Cuzco, on being questioned, agreed that they had heard their fathers and grandfathers repeat the tradition that when the first Inca, Manco Ccapac, captured their lands, he came from Tampu-tocco. They did not say that the first Inca came from Paccaritampu, which, it seems to me, would have been a most natural thing for them to have said if this were the general belief of the natives. In addition there is the still older testimony of some Indians born before the arrival of the first Spaniards, who were examined at a legal investigation in 1570. A chief, aged ninety-two, testified that Manco Ccapac came out of a cave called Tocco, and that he was lord of the town near that cave. Not one of the witnesses stated that Manco Ccapac came from Paccaritampu, although it is difficult to imagine why they should not have done so if, as the contemporary historians believed, this was really the original Tampu-tocco. The chroniclers were willing enough to accept the interesting cave near Paccaritampu as the place where Manco Ccapac was born, and from which he came to conquer Cuzco. Why were the sworn witnesses so reticent? It seems hardly possible that they should have forgotten where Tampu-tocco was supposed to have been. Was their reticence due to the fact that its actual whereabouts had been successfully kept secret? Manco Ccapac's home was that Tampu-tocco to which the followers of Pachacuti VI fled with his body after the overthrow of the old regime, a very secluded and holy place. Did they know it was in the same fastnesses of the Andes to which in the days of Pizarro the young Inca Manco had fled from Cuzco? Was this the cause of their reticence?

Certainly the requirements of Tampu-tocco are met at Machu Picchu. The splendid natural defenses of the Grand Canyon of the Urubamba made it an ideal refuge for the descendants of the Amautas during the centuries of lawlessness and confusion which succeeded the barbarian invasions from the plains to the east and south. The scarcity of violent earthquakes and also its healthfulness, both marked characteristics of Tampu-tocco, are met at Machu Picchu. It is worth noting that the existence of Machu Picchu might easily have been concealed from the common people. At the time of the Spanish Conquest its location might have been known only to the Inca and his priests.

So, notwithstanding the belief of the historians, I feel it is reasonable to conclude that the first name of the ruins at Machu Picchu was Tampu-tocco. Here Pachacuti VI was buried; here was the capital of the little kingdom where during the centuries between the Amautas and the Incas there was kept alive the wisdom, skill, and best traditions of the ancient folk who had developed the civilization of Peru.

It is well to remember that the defenses of Cuzco were of little avail before the onslaught of the warlike invaders. The great organization of farmers and masons, so successful in its ability to perform mighty feats of engineering with primitive tools of wood, stone, and bronze, had crumbled away before the attacks of savage hordes who knew little of the arts of peace. The defeated leaders had to choose a region where they might live in safety from their fierce enemies. Furthermore, in the environs of Machu Picchu they found every variety of climate—valleys so low as to produce the precious coca, yucca, and plantain, the fruits and vegetables of the tropics; slopes high enough to be suitable for many varieties of maize, quinoa, and other cereals, as well as their favorite root crops, including both sweet and white potatoes, oca, anu, and ullucu. Here, within a few hours' journey, they could find days warm enough to dry and cure the coca leaves; nights cold enough to freeze potatoes in the approved aboriginal fashion.

Although the amount of arable land which could be made available with the most careful terracing was not large enough to support a very great population, Machu Picchu offered an impregnable citadel to the chiefs and priests and their handful of followers who were obliged to flee from the rich plains near Cuzco and the broad, pleasant valley of Yucay. Only dire necessity and terror could have forced a people which had reached such a stage in engineering, architecture, and agriculture, to leave hospitable valleys and tablelands for rugged canyons. Certainly there is no part of the Andes less fitted by nature to meet the requirements of an agricultural folk, unless their chief need was a safe refuge and retreat.

Here the wise remnant of the Amautas ultimately developed great ability. In the face of tremendous natural obstacles they utilized their ancient craft to wrest a living from the soil. Hemmed in between the savages of the Amazon jungles below and their enemies on the plateau above, they must have carried on border warfare for generations. Aided by the temperate climate in which they lived, and the ability to secure a wide variety of food within a few hours' climb up or down from their towns and cities, they became a hardy, vigorous tribe which in the course of time burst its boundaries, fought its way back to the rich Cuzco Valley, overthrew the descendants of the ancient invaders and established, with Cuzco as a capital, the Empire of the Incas.

After the first Inca, Manco Ccapac, had established himself in Cuzco, what more natural than that he should have built a fine temple in honor of his ancestors. Ancestor worship was common to the Incas, and nothing would have been more reasonable than the construction of the Temple of the Three Windows. As the Incas grew in power and extended their rule over the ancient empire of the Cuzco Amautas from whom they traced their descent, superstitious regard would have led them to establish their chief temples and palaces in the city of Cuzco itself. There was no longer any necessity to maintain the citadel of Tampu-tocco. It was probably deserted, while Cuzco grew and the Inca Empire flourished.

As the Incas increased in power they invented various myths to account for their origin. One of these traced their ancestry to the islands of Lake Titicaca. Finally the very location of Manco Ccapac's birthplace was forgotten by the common people—although undoubtedly known to the priests and those who preserved the most sacred secrets of the Incas.

Then came Pizarro and the bigoted conquistadores. The native chiefs faced the necessity of saving whatever was possible of the ancient religion. The Spaniards coveted gold and silver. The most precious possessions of the Incas, however, were not images and utensils, but the sacred Virgins of the Sun, who, like the Vestal Virgins of Rome, were from their earliest childhood trained to the service of the great Sun God. Looked at from the standpoint of an agricultural people who needed the sun to bring their food crops to fruition and keep them from hunger, it was of the utmost importance to placate him with sacrifices and secure the good effects of his smiling face. If he delayed his coming or kept himself hidden behind the clouds, the maize would mildew and the ears would not properly ripen. If he did not shine with his accustomed brightness after the harvest, the ears of corn could not be properly dried and kept over to the next year. In short, any unusual behavior on the part of the sun meant hunger and famine. Consequently their most beautiful daughters were consecrated to his service, as "Virgins" who lived in the temple and ministered to the wants of priests and rulers. Human sacrifice had long since been given up in Peru and its place taken by the consecration of these damsels. Some of the Virgins of the Sun in Cuzco were captured. Others escaped and accompanied Manco into the inaccessible canyons of Uilcapampa.

It will be remembered that Father Calancha relates the trials of the first two missionaries in this region, who at the peril of their lives urged the Inca to let them visit the "University of Idolatry," at "Vilcabamba Viejo," "the largest city" in the province. Machu Picchu admirably answers its requirements. Here it would have been very easy for the Inca Titu Cusi to have kept the monks in the vicinity of the Sacred City for three weeks without their catching a single glimpse of its unique temples and remarkable palaces. It would have been possible for Titu Cusi to bring Friar Marcos and Friar Diego to the village of Intihuatana near San Miguel, at the foot of the Machu Picchu cliffs. The sugar planters of the lower Urubamba Valley crossed the bridge of San Miguel annually for twenty years in blissful ignorance of what lay on top of the ridge above them. So the friars might easily have been lodged in huts at the foot of the mountain without their being aware of the extent and importance of the Inca "university." Apparently they returned to Puquiura with so little knowledge of the architectural character of "Vilcabamba Viejo" that no description of it could be given their friends, eventually to be reported by Calancha. Furthermore, the difficult journey across country from Puquiura might easily have taken "three days."

Finally, it appears from Dr. Eaton's studies that the last residents of Machu Picchu itself were mostly women. In the burial caves which we have found in the region roundabout Machu Picchu the proportion of skulls belonging to men is very large. There are many so-called "trepanned" skulls. Some of them seem to belong to soldiers injured in war by having their skulls crushed in, either with clubs or the favorite sling-stones of the Incas. In no case have we found more than twenty-five skulls without encountering some "trepanned" specimens among them. In striking contrast is the result of the excavations at Machu Picchu, where one hundred sixty-four skulls were found in the burial caves, yet not one had been "trepanned." Of the one hundred thirty-five skeletons whose sex could be accurately determined by Dr. Eaton, one hundred nine were females. Furthermore, it was in the graves of the females that the finest artifacts were found, showing that they were persons of no little importance. Not a single representative of the robust male of the warrior type was found in the burial caves of Machu Picchu.

Another striking fact brought out by Dr. Eaton is that some of the female skeletons represent individuals from the seacoast. This fits in with Calancha's statement that Titu Cusi tempted the monks not only with beautiful women of the highlands, but also with those who came from the tribes of the Yungas, or "warm valleys." The "warm valleys" may be those of the rubber country, but Sir Clements Markham thought the oases of the coast were meant.

Furthermore, as Mr. Safford has pointed out, among the artifacts discovered at Machu Picchu was a "snuffing tube" intended for use with the narcotic snuff which was employed by the priests and necromancers to induce a hypnotic state. This powder was made from the seeds of the tree which the Incas called huilca or uilca, which, as has been pointed out in Chapter XI, grows near these ruins. This seems to me to furnish additional evidence of the identity of Machu Picchu with Calancha's "Vilcabamba."

It cannot be denied that the ruins of Machu Picchu satisfy the requirements of "the largest city, in which was the University of Idolatry." Until some one can find the ruins of another important place within three days' journey of Pucyura which was an important religious center and whose skeletal remains are chiefly those of women, I am inclined to believe that this was the "Vilcabamba Viejo" of Calancha, just as Espiritu Pampa was the "Vilcabamba Viejo" of Ocampo.

In the interesting account of the last Incas purporting to be by Titu Cusi, but actually written in excellent Spanish by Friar Marcos, he says that his father, Manco, fleeing from Cuzco went first "to Vilcabamba, the head of all that province."

In the "Anales del Peru" Montesinos says that Francisco Pizarro, thinking that the Inca Manco wished to make peace with him, tried to please the Inca by sending him a present of a very fine pony and a mulatto to take care of it. In place of rewarding the messenger, the Inca killed both man and beast. When Pizarro was informed of this, he took revenge on Manco by cruelly abusing the Inca's favorite wife, and putting her to death. She begged of her attendants that "when she should be dead they would put her remains in a basket and let it float down the Yucay [or Urubamba] River, that the current might take it to her husband, the Inca." She must have believed that at that time Manco was near this river. Machu Picchu is on its banks. Espiritu Pampa is not.

We have already seen how Manco finally established himself at Uiticos, where he restored in some degree the fortunes of his house. Surrounded by fertile valleys, not too far removed from the great highway which the Spaniards were obliged to use in passing from Lima to Cuzco, he could readily attack them. At Machu Picchu he would not have been so conveniently located for robbing the Spanish caravans nor for supplying his followers with arable lands.

There is abundant archeological evidence that the citadel of Machu Picchu was at one time occupied by the Incas and partly built by them on the ruins of a far older city. Much of the pottery is unquestionably of the so-called Cuzco style, used by the last Incas. The more recent buildings resemble those structures on the island of Titicaca said to have been built by the later Incas. They also resemble the fortress of Uiticos, at Rosaspata, built by Manco about 1537. Furthermore, they are by far the largest and finest ruins in the mountains of the old province of Uilcapampa and represent the place which would naturally be spoken of by Titu Cusi as the "head of the province." Espiritu Pampa does not satisfy the demands of a place which was so important as to give its name to the entire province, to be referred to as "the largest city."

It seems quite possible that the inaccessible, forgotten citadel of Machu Picchu was the place chosen by Manco as the safest refuge for those Virgins of the Sun who had successfully escaped from Cuzco in the days of Pizarro. For them and their attendants Manco probably built many of the newer buildings and repaired some of the older ones. Here they lived out their days, secure in the knowledge that no Indians would ever breathe to the conquistadores the secret of their sacred refuge.


The Gorges, Opening Wide Apart, Reveal Uilcapampa's Granite Citadel, the Crown of Inca Land: Machu Picchu ———

When the worship of the sun actually ceased on the heights of Machu Picchu no one can tell. That the secret of its existence was so well kept is one of the marvels of Andean history. Unless one accepts the theories of its identity with "Tampu-tocco" and "Vilcabamba Viejo," there is no clear reference to Machu Picchu until 1875, when Charles Wiener heard about it.

Some day we may be able to find a reference in one of the documents of the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries which will indicate that the energetic Viceroy Toledo, or a contemporary of his, knew of this marvelous citadel and visited it. Writers like Cieza de Leon and Polo de Ondegardo, who were assiduous in collecting information about all the holy places of the Incas, give the names of many places which as yet we have not been able to identify. Among them we may finally recognize the temples of Machu Picchu. On the other hand, it seems likely that if any of the Spanish soldiers, priests, or other chroniclers had seen this citadel, they would have described its chief edifices in unmistakable terms.

Until further light can be thrown on this fascinating problem it seems reasonable to conclude that at Machu Picchu we have the ruins of Tampu-tocco, the birthplace of the first Inca, Manco Ccapac, and also the ruins of a sacred city of the last Incas. Surely this granite citadel, which has made such a strong appeal to us on account of its striking beauty and the indescribable charm of its surroundings, appears to have had a most interesting history. Selected about 800 A.D. as the safest place of refuge for the last remnants of the old regime fleeing from southern invaders, it became the site of the capital of a new kingdom, and gave birth to the most remarkable family which South America has ever seen. Abandoned, about 1300, when Cuzco once more flashed into glory as the capital of the Peruvian Empire, it seems to have been again sought out in time of trouble, when in 1534 another foreign invader arrived—this time from Europe—with a burning desire to extinguish all vestiges of the ancient religion. In its last state it became the home and refuge of the Virgins of the Sun, priestesses of the most humane cult of aboriginal America. Here, concealed in a canyon of remarkable grandeur, protected by art and nature, these consecrated women gradually passed away, leaving no known descendants, nor any records other than the masonry walls and artifacts to be described in another volume. Whoever they were, whatever name be finally assigned to this site by future historians, of this I feel sure—that few romances can ever surpass that of the granite citadel on top of the beetling precipices of Machu Picchu, the crown of Inca Land.


Anu: A species of nasturtium with edible roots.

Aryballus: A bottle-shaped vase with pointed bottom.

Azequia: An irrigation ditch or conduit.

Bar-hold: A stone cylinder or pin, let into a gatepost in such a way as to permit the gate bar to be tied to it. Sometimes the bar-hold is part of one of the ashlars of the gatepost. Bar-holds are usually found in the gateway of a compound or group of Inca houses.

Coca: Shrub from which cocaine is extracted. The dried leaves are chewed to secure the desired deadening effect of the drug.

Conquistadores: Spanish soldiers engaged in the conquest of America.

Eye-bonder: A narrow, rough ashlar in one end of which a chamfered hole has been cut. Usually about 2 feet long, 6 inches wide, and 2 inches thick, it was bonded into the wall of a gable at right angles to its slope and flush with its surface. To it the purlins of the roof could be fastened. Eye-bonders are also found projecting above the lintel of a gateway to a compound. If the "bar-holds" were intended to secure the horizontal bar of an important gate, these eye-bonders may have been for a vertical bar.

Gobernador: The Spanish-speaking town magistrate. The alcaldes are his Indian aids.

Habas beans: Broad beans.

Huaca: A sacred or holy place or thing, sometimes a boulder. Often applied to a piece of prehistoric pottery.

Manana: To-morrow, or by and by. The "manana habit" is Spanish-American procrastination.

Mestizo: A half-breed of Spanish and Indian ancestry.

Milpa: A word used in Central America for a small farm or clearing. The milpa system of agriculture involves clearing the forest by fire, destroys valuable humus and forces the farmer to seek new fields frequently.

Montana: Jungle, forest. The term usually applied by Peruvians to the heavily forested slopes of the Eastern Andean valleys and the Amazon Basin.

Oca: Hardy, edible root, related to sheep sorrel.

Quebrada: A gorge or ravine.

Quipu: Knotted, parti-colored strings used by the ancient Peruvians to keep records. A mnemonic device.

Roof-peg: A roughly cylindrical block of stone bonded into a gable wall and allowed to project 12 or 15 inches on the outside. Used in connection with "eye-bonders," the roof-pegs served as points to which the roof could be tied down.

Sol: Peruvian silver dollar, worth about two shillings or a little less than half a gold dollar.

Sorocho: Mountain-sickness.

Stone-peg: A roughly cylindrical block of stone bonded into the walls of a house and projecting 10 or 12 inches on the inside so as to permit of its being used as a clothes-peg. Stone-pegs are often found alternating with niches and placed on a level with the lintels of the niches.

Temblor: A slight earthquake.

Temporales: Small fields of grain which cannot be irrigated and so depend on the weather for their moisture.

Teniente gobernador: Administrative officer of a small village or hamlet.

Terremoto: A severe earthquake.

Tesoro: Treasure.

Tutu: A hardy variety of white potato not edible in a fresh state, used for making chuno, after drying, freezing, and pressing out the bitter juices.

Ulluca: An edible root.

Viejo: Old.

Bibliography of the Peruvian Expeditions of Yale University and the National Geographic Society

Thomas Barbour:

Reptiles Collected by Yale Peruvian Expedition of 1912. Proceedings of Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, LXV, 505-507, September, 1913. 1 pl.

(With G. K. Noble:)

Amphibians and Reptiles from Southern Peru Collected by Peruvian Expedition of 1914-1915. Proceedings of U.S. National Museum, LVIII, 609-620, 1921.

Hiram Bingham:

The Ruins of Choqquequirau. American Anthropologist, XII, 505-525, October, 1910. Illus., 4 pl., map.

Across South America. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1911, xvi, 405 pp., plates, maps, plans, 8 deg..

Preliminary Report of the Yale Peruvian Expedition. Bulletin of American Geographical Society, XLIV, 20-26, January, 1912.

The Ascent of Coropuna. Harper's Magazine, CXXIV, 489-502, March, 1912. Illus.

Vitcos, The Last Inca Capital. Proceedings of American Antiquarian Society, XXII, N.S., 135-196. April, 1912. Illus., plans.

The Discovery of Pre-Historic Human Remains near Cuzco, Peru. American Journal of Science, XXXIII, No. 196, 297-305, April, 1912. Illus., maps.

A Search for the Last Inca Capital. Harper's Magazine, CXXV, 696-705, October, 1912. Illus.

The Discovery of Machu Picchu. Ibid., CXXVI, 709-719, April, 1913. Illus.

In the Wonderland of Peru. National Geographic Magazine, XXIV, 387-573, April, 1913. Illus., maps, plans.

The Investigation of Pre-Historic Human Remains Found near Cuzco in 1911. American Journal of Science, XXXVI, No. 211, 1-2, July, 1913.

The Ruins of Espiritu Pampa, Peru. American Anthropologist, XVI, No. 2, 185-199. April-June, 1914. Illus., 1 pl., map.

Along the Uncharted Pampaconas. Harper's Magazine, CXXIX, 452-463, August, 1914. Illus., map.

The Pampaconas River. The Geographical Journal, XLIV, 211-214, August, 1914. 2 pl., map.

The Story of Machu Picchu. National Geographic Magazine, XXVII, 172-217, February, 1915. Illus.

Types of Machu Picchu Pottery. American Anthropologist, XVII, 257-271, April-June, 1915. Illus., 1 pl.

The Inca Peoples and Their Culture. Proceedings of Nineteenth International Congress of Americanists, Washington, D.C., pp. 253-260, December, 1915.

Further Explorations in the Land of the Incas. National Geographic Magazine, XXIX, 431-473, May, 1916. Illus., 2 maps.

Evidences of Symbolism in the Land of the Incas. The Builder, II, No. 12, 361-366, December, 1916. Illus.

(With Dr. George S. Jamieson:)

Lake Parinacochas and the Composition of its Water. American Journal of Science, XXXIV, 12-16, July, 1912. Illus.

Isaiah Bowman:

The Geologic Relations of the Cuzco Remains. American Journal of Science, XXXIII, No. 196, 306-325, April, 1912. Illus.

A Buried Wall at Cuzco and its Relation to the Question of a Pre-Inca Race. Ibid., XXXIV, No. 204, 497-509, December, 1912. Illus.

The Canon of the Urubamba. Bulletin of American Geographical Society, XLIV, 881-897, December, 1912. Illus., map.

The Andes of Southern Peru. Geographical Reconnaissance Along the Seventy-third Meridian, N.Y., Henry Holt, 1916. xi, 336 pp., plates, maps, plans.

Lawrence Bruner:

Results of Yale Peruvian Expedition of 1911, Orthoptera (Acridiidae—Short Horned Locusts). Proceedings of U.S. National Museum, XLIV, 177-187, 1913.

Results of Yale Peruvian Expedition of 1911, Orthoptera (Addenda to the Acridiidae). Ibid., XLV, 585-586, 1913.

A. N. Caudell:

Results of Yale Peruvian Expedition of 1911, Orthoptera (Exclusive of Acridiidae). Proceedings of U.S. National Museum, XLIV, 347-357, 1913.

Ralph V. Chamberlain:

Results of Yale Peruvian Expedition of 1911. The Arachnida. Bulletin of Museum of Comparative Zooelogy at Harvard College, LX, No. 6, 177-299, 1916. 25 pl.

Frank M. Chapman:

The Distribution of Bird Life in the Urubamba Valley of Peru. U.S. National Museum Bulletin 117, 138 pp., 1921. 9 pl., map.

O. F. Cook:

Quichua Names of Sweet Potatoes. Journal of Washington Academy of Sciences, VI, No. 4, 86-90, 1916.

Agriculture and Native Vegetation in Peru. Ibid., VI, No. 10, 284-293, 1916. Illus.

Staircase Farms of the Ancients. National Geographic Magazine, XXIX, 474-534, May, 1916. Illus.

Foot-Plow Agriculture in Peru. Smithsonian Report for 1918, 487-491. 4 pl.

Domestication of Animals in Peru. Journal of Heredity, x, 176-181, April, 1919. Illus.

(With Alice C. Cook:)

Polar Bear Cacti. Journal of Heredity, Washington, D.C., VIII, 113-120, March, 1917. Illus.

William H. Dall:

Some Landshells Collected by Dr. Hiram Bingham in Peru. Proceedings of U.S. National Museum, XXXVIII, 177-182, 1911. Illus.

Reports on Landshells Collected in Peru in 1911 by The Yale Expedition. Smithsonian Misc. Collections, LIX, No. 14, 12 pp., 1912.

Harrison G. Dyar:

Results of Yale Peruvian Expedition of 1911. Lepidoptera. Proceedings of U.S. National Museum, XLV, 627-649, 1913.

George F. Eaton:

Report on the Remains of Man and Lower Animals from the Vicinity of Cuzco. American Journal of Science, XXXIII, No. 196, 325-333, April, 1912. Illus.

Vertebrate Remains in the Cuzco Gravels. Ibid., XXXVI, No. 211, 3-14, July, 1913. Illus.

Vertebrate Fossils from Ayusbamba, Peru. Ibid., XXXVII, No. 218, 141-154, February, 1914. 3 pl.

The Collection of Osteological Material from Machu Picchu. Trans. Conn. Academy Arts and Sciences, v, 3-96, May, 1916. Illus., 39 pl., map.

William G. Erving, M.D.:

Medical Report of the Yale Peruvian Expedition. Yale Medical Journal, XVIII, 325-335, April, 1912. 6 pl.

Alexander W. Evans:

Hepaticae: Yale Peruvian Expedition of 1911. Trans. Conn. Academy Arts and Sciences, XVIII, 291-345, April, 1914.

Harry B. Ferris, M.D.:

The Indians of Cuzco and the Apurimac. Memoirs, American Anthropological Assoc., III, No. 2, 59-148, 1916. 60 pl.

Anthropological Studies on the Quichua and Machiganga Indians. Trans. Conn. Academy Arts and Sciences, XXV, 1-92, April, 1921. 21 pl., map.

Harry W. Foote:

(With W. H. Buell:)

The Composition, Structure and Hardness of some Peruvian Bronze Axes. American Journal of Science, XXXIV, 128-132, August, 1912. Illus.

Herbert E. Gregory:

The Gravels at Cuzco. American Journal of Science, XXXVI, No. 211, 15-29, July, 1913. Illus., map.

The La Paz Gorge. Ibid., XXXVI, 141-150, August, 1913. Illus.

A Geographical Sketch of Titicaca, the Island of the Sun. Bulletin of American Geographical Society, XLV, 561-575, August, 1913. 4 pl., map.

Geologic Sketch of Titicaca Island and Adjoining Areas. American Journal of Science, XXXVI, No. 213, 187-213, September, 1913. Illus., maps.

Geologic Reconnaissance of the Ayusbamba Fossil Beds. Ibid., XXXVII, No. 218, 125-140, February, 1914. Illus., map.

The Rodadero; A Fault Plane of Unusual Aspect. Ibid., XXXVII, No. 220, 289-298, April, 1914. Illus.

A Geologic Reconnaissance of the Cuzco Valley. Ibid., XLI, No. 241, 1-100, January, 1916. Illus., maps.

Osgood Hardy:

Cuzco and Apurimac. Bulletin of American Geographical Society, XLVI, No. 7, 500-512, 1914. Illus., map.

The Indians of the Department of Cuzco. American Anthropologist, XXI, 1-27, January-March, 1919. 9 pl.

Sir Clements Markham:

Mr. Bingham in Vilcapampa, Geographical Journal, XXXVIII, No. 6, 590-591, Dec. 1911, 1 pl.

C. H. Mathewson:

A Metallographic Description of Some Ancient Peruvian Bronzes from Machu Picchu. American Journal of Science, XL, No. 240, 525-602, December, 1915. Illus., plates.

P. R. Myers:

Results of Yale Peruvian Expedition of 1911—Addendum to the Hymenoptera-Ichneumonoidea. Proceedings of U.S. National Museum, XLVII, 361-362, 1914.

S. A. Rohwer:

Results of Yale Peruvian Expedition of 1911—Hymenoptera, Superfamilies Vespoidea and Sphecoidea. Proceedings of U.S. National Museum, XLIV, 439-454, 1913.

Leonhard Stejneger:

Results of Yale Peruvian Expedition of 1911. Batrachians and Reptiles. Proceedings of U.S. National Museum, XLV, 541-547, 1913.

Oldfield Thomas:

Report on the Mammalia Collected by Mr. Edmund Heller during Peruvian Expedition of 1915. Proceedings of U.S. National Museum, LVIII, 217-249, 1920. 2 pl.

H. L. Viereck:

Results of Yale Peruvian Expedition of 1911. Hymenoptera-Ichneumonoidea. Proceedings of U.S. National Museum, XLIV, 469-470, 1913.

R. S. Williams:

Peruvian Mosses. Bulletin of Torrey Botanical Club, XLIII, 323-334, June, 1916. 4 pl.


[1] Many people have asked me how to pronounce Machu Picchu. Quichua words should always be pronounced as nearly as possible as they are written. They represent an attempt at phonetic spelling. If the attempt is made by a Spanish writer, he is always likely to put a silent "h" at the beginning of such words as huilca which is pronounced "weel-ka." In the middle of a word "h" is always sounded. Machu Picchu is pronounced "Mah'-chew Pick'-chew." Uiticos is pronounced "Weet'-ee-kos." Uilcapampa is pronounced "Weel'-ka-pahm-pah." Cuzco is "Koos'-koh."

[2] A league, usually about 3 1/3 miles, is really the distance an average mule can walk in an hour.

[3] Fernando Montesinos, an ecclesiastical lawyer of the seventeenth century, appears to have gone to Peru in 1629 as the follower of that well-known viceroy, the Count of Chinchon, whose wife having contracted malaria was cured by the use of Peruvian bark or quinine and was instrumental in the introduction of this medicine into Europe, a fact which has been commemorated in the botanical name of the genus cinchona. Montesinos was well educated and appears to have given himself over entirely to historical research. He traveled extensively in Peru and wrote several books. His history of the Incas was spoiled by the introduction, in which, as might have been expected of an orthodox lawyer, he contended that Peru was peopled under the leadership of Ophir, the great-grandson of Noah! Nevertheless, one finds his work to be of great value and the late Sir Clements Markham, foremost of English students of Peruvian archeology, was inclined to place considerable credence in his statements. His account of pre-Hispanic Peru has recently been edited for the Hakluyt Society by Mr. Philip A. Means of Harvard University.

[4] Another version of this event is that the quarrel was over a game of chess between the Inca and Diego Mendez, another of the refugees, who lost his temper and called the Inca a dog. Angered at the tone and language of his guest, the Inca gave him a blow with his fist. Diego Mendez thereupon drew a dagger and killed him. A totally different account from the one obtained by Garcilasso from his informants is that in a volume purporting to have been dictated to Friar Marcos by Manco's son, Titu Cusi, twenty years after the event. I quote from Sir Clements Markham's translation:

"After these Spaniards had been with my Father for several years in the said town of Viticos they were one day, with much good fellowship, playing at quoits with him; only them, my Father and me, who was then a boy [ten years old]. Without having any suspicion, although an Indian woman, named Banba, had said that the Spaniards wanted to murder the Inca, my Father was playing with them as usual. In this game, just as my Father was raising the quoit to throw, they all rushed upon him with knives, daggers and some swords. My Father, feeling himself wounded, strove to make some defence, but he was one and unarmed, and they were seven fully armed; he fell to the ground covered with wounds, and they left him for dead. I, being a little boy, and seeing my Father treated in this manner, wanted to go where he was to help him. But they turned furiously upon me, and hurled a lance which only just failed to kill me also. I was terrified and fled amongst some bushes. They looked for me, but could not find me. The Spaniards, seeing that my Father had ceased to breathe, went out of the gate, in high spirits, saying, 'Now that we have killed the Inca we have nothing to fear.' But at this moment the captain Rimachi Yupanqui arrived with some Antis, and presently chased them in such sort that, before they could get very far along a difficult road, they were caught and pulled from their horses. They all had to suffer very cruel deaths and some were burnt. Notwithstanding his wounds my Father lived for three days."

Another version is given by Montesinos in his Anales. It is more like Titu Cusi's.

[5] A Spanish derivative from the Quichua mucha, "a kiss." Muchani means "to adore, to reverence, to kiss the hands."

[6] Uiticos is probably derived from Uiticuni, meaning "to withdraw to a distance."

[7] Described in "Across South America."

[8] On the 1915 Expedition Mr. Heller captured twelve new species of mammals, but, as Mr. Oldfield Thomas says: "Of all the novelties, by far the most interesting is the new Marsupial .... Members of the family were previously known from Colombia and Ecuador." Mr. Heller's discovery greatly extends the recent range of the kangaroo family.

[9] Mr. Safford says in his article on the "Identity of Cohoba" (Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, Sept. 19, 1916): "The most remarkable fact connected with Piptadenia peregrina, or 'tree-tobacco' is that ... the source of its intoxicating properties still remains unknown." One of the bifurcated tubes."in the first stages of manufacture," was found at Machu Picchu.

[10] See the illustrations in Chapters XVII and XVIII.

[11] Since the historical Uilcapampa is not geographically identical with the modern Vilcabamba, the name applied to this river and the old Spanish town at its source, I shall distinguish between the two by using the correct, official spelling for the river and town, viz., Vilcabamba; and the phonetic spelling, Uilcapampa, for the place referred to in the contemporary histories of the Inca Manco.

[12] In those days the term "Andes" appears to have been very limited in scope, and was applied only to the high range north of Cuzco where lived the tribe called Antis. Their name was given to the range. Its culminating point was Mt. Salcantay.

[13] Titu Cusi was an illegitimate son of Manco. His mother was not of royal blood and may have been a native of the warm valleys.


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