National Geographic : 1916 May
Photograph by Hiram Bingham INDIAN BOYS, WITH VERY ELABORATE PONCHOS, VISITING CUZCO Cuzco is the Mecca of all the Indians in southern Peru, and one of the most interesting sights in its streets are the visitors, whose district may be told by the cut of their garments and the patterns they affect. Here are shown three visitors from a distant province, who were very shy and only with the greatest difficulty could be persuaded to pose for their pic ture. Had it not been for the good nature of the porter, or cargador, who stands at the left, we could never have persuaded them to face the camera. graphic Society were told in the Febru ary, 1915, number of this Magazine.* But of the food or the flora and fauna of those remarkable builders, who con structed splendid granite palaces and re markable agricultural terraces in this long-hidden corner of the Andes, we were able to give very little information. OUR PLANS FOR OUR LAST EXPEDITION Accordingly, the Expedition of 1915 had for its chief object the securing of as much information as possible about the former inhabitants of Machu Picchu and the territory immediately surround ing the city. Thanks to the cooperation of the Bu reau of Plant Industry of the United States Department of Agriculture, we were able to investigate the original food plants of this vicinity and learn what medicinal plants were known and prized. * See "The Story of Machu Picchu," with 60 illustrations, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, February, 1915. We also secured the services of a com petent naturalist to tell us with what birds and animals the people of Machu Picchu were familiar. Furthermore, we succeeded in locating several ancient roads leading toward Machu Picchu (pages 446 and 447), and while following them out discovered several new groups of ruins, evidently representing outlying fortresses and fortified stations used for the defense of the capital and for the convenience of travelers on the highways. Finally, by process of elimination, we were able to prove that Machu Picchu was the capital of a considerable area of country that was once densely populated. In the course of our work we crossed a number of hitherto-unexplored areas, collected large numbers of botanical and zoological specimens, mapped a new river system, and took measurements of nearly all of the savage inhabitants of the newly visited valley, besides many of the semi civilized folk of the older valleys.