National Geographic : 1915 Feb
the excavations in the Eastern City, nor in the Lower City. In an excavation near the Main City Gate of the Upper City 29 obsidian peb bles, slightly larger than ordinary mar bles, were found. These chunks vary in sizefrom2.2cm.x1.7cm.x1.5cm.to 0.9cm.xIcm.x0.9cm., andinweight from6G.toIG. Onemorewasfound in an excavation a few feet away, but not one was found anywhere else. Most of them might be described as sub-angu lar in character and somewhat faceted in shape. Professor Pirsson, of the Sheffield Scientific School, who examined them, tells me that similar pebbles are found scattered all over the world. Specimens have been picked up in Austria-Hungary, Moravia, Honduras, and Arizona. The finding of these rounded chunks of vol canic glass where there is no volcanic action has led to the suggestion that they might be extra-terrestrial, possibly a "meteoric shower." From their location, near the city gate at Machu Picchu, they were probably used as record stones. Finally, we must continue the search for "record stones" in Inca ruins. They may not be found. On the other hand, they may have been overlooked by former collectors. They certainly would have been overlooked by treasure hunters. MUCH IMPORTANT MAPPING WAS DONE IN 1914 One of the greatest handicaps in the way of scientific work in all of this region is the lack of accurate and adequate maps.* Accordingly it was felt that the best way to prepare for the scientific work of the Expedition of 1915 would be to send out two or three topographic parties in 1914, who could utilize the information gath ered in 1911 and 1912 to prepare better maps than anything we have had. With the consent and approval of the * One of the most interesting results of the topographical work of the 1912 Expedition was the discovery that the course of the great river Apurimac is quite incorrectly laid down on the Peruvian maps. At Pasaje it is 20 miles farther away from the Urubamba than the government maps show it to be. As a result interesting possibilities for discovery and ex ploration have been opened up in a region some 600 square miles in extent, an area which did not heretofore exist on any map. TYPICAL HAMMER-STONE, SHOWING THE WAY IN WHICH THE BUILDERS OE MACHU PICCHU FINISHED THEIR WONDERFUL BUILDING STONE Hundreds of hammer-stones were found, indicating the great importance and frequent use of this ancient implement, which enabled the old stone-masons to accomplish almost im possible feats. Y2 natural size. Peruvian government, we began our field work in 1914 by making a geographical reconnaissance of that portion of south ern Peru which includes the Cordillera Vilcabamba and other portions of the watershed of the Apurimac and Uru bamba rivers within a radius of 100 miles of Cuzco. Much of the country is on the edge of the great Andean plateau. The Cordillera Vilcabamba is a chain of magnificent mountains, rising from 15,000 to 20,540 feet above sea-level, and reaching their highest point at the beau tiful peak known as Salcantay. The tops of many peaks are 12,000 feet above the floor of the canyons at their base. Since their bases are situated between latitudes 12 and 14 S., they are clothed with trop ical jungles, while the peaks, on account of their great height, are mantled with snow and glaciers, and form one of the largest undescribed glaciated regions in: the world. The first description of a. scramble through the heart of this great glaciated country was given by the writer in the April, 1913, number of the NA TIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE.