National Geographic : 1973 Nov
This frail doll whispers of Peru's lost civilizations Raggedy Andy of a forgotten time, he wears homespun cape and cap, with coarse wrappings for arms and legs. His rouged face is fashioned of wood, the hair of fiber. Carved and clothed by a Peruvian craftsman, probably about 800 years ago, the 23-inch doll and his small puppetlike companion survived the years in a bone-dry grave. Now he is carefully preserved in the Smith sonian Institution. No mere curio of some ancient toyland, he probably served as an offering to the dead. The pair were unearthed in Peru's desert, a virtually rainless ribbon of land along the coast. Here colorful textiles entombed for thousands of years preserve their brilliance; objects as delicate as feathers weather the centuries intact. Time has not dulled the doll's black hair or frayed his garments. Even the red paint on his face has not paled. In such frail images Peru whispers of ancient civilizations. Inland, Peru shouts of past glories. High in the Andes, on a mountain saddle above the twisting Urubamba River, sun-worshiping Incas built the temple city of Machu Picchu. Hand-hewn granite blocks of the citadel lay hidden under dense jungle growth until 1911, when Yale professor Hiram Bingham "rounded a knoll and suddenly faced tier upon tier of Inca terraces rising like giant stairs." Supported by the National Geographic Society, Bingham explored and cleared the site. In the GEOGRAPHIC for February 1915, he reported his discoveries in detail. Readers have since returned many times to Peru. Lured by tiny doll or mammoth ruin, they find lost civilizations vividly unveiled in the pages of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC.