Hiram Bingham

Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army
United States Senator
Explorer - Government Official

1875 - 1956

"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."
- Hiram Bingham, gringo discoverer of Machu Picchu in Lost City of the Incas.

American archaeologist and statesman; born in Honolulu. At Yale University (1907-28), he led expeditions that discovered the Inca cities of Viitcos and Machu Picchu. He was governor of Connecticut (1925) and U.S. senator (1925-33),

Hiram Bingham
Hiram Bingham at Machu Picchu.
At Machu Picchu.
Britannica article 


Alfred M. Bingham (1905-1998) Written by his son Alfred M. Bingham, this biography conveys the ambitious, multifaceted personality of Hiram Bingham III, the explorer who rediscovered the lost Inca ruins of Machu Picchu.  It is a life of both high accomplishments and very human failings. 

The son and grandson of New England missionaries in the Pacific, Hiram Bingham was raised to carry on the family tradition within the church.  But rebelling against the piety and poverty of his background, he chose instead an academic career and married an heiress, a grand-daughter of the founder of Tiffany and Co. 

His overnight acquisition of great wealth opened many opportunities to Bingham.  During his career as an academic specializing in Latin American history, the Tiffany money helped support five scientific expeditions, one of which led to Machu Picchu and his lasting fame.  Later it also facilitated a political career, culminating in his serving two terms as a U. S. Senator from Connecticut. 

This book chronicles Hiram Bingham's achievements, with emphasis on the explorations of which he was most proud, as well as some of his more questionable actions.  His adventurous character is brought to life in all its human complexity.

This 'must have' book chronicling Hiram Bingham's South American explorations and his 'discovery' of the famous lost Inca city is lavishly illustrated with many photos, maps and sketches.  Most are by Hiram Bingham and other members of the Peruvian expeditions.  This book should be of interest both to the serious scholar of Inca history and culture as well as the traveller interested in learning more about the events leading to Machu Picchu becoming the great tourist attraction that it is today. 
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"What the conquistadors missed, he found in 1911: an Inca city on a Peruvian peak called Machu Picchu. Already partly cleared by farmers, the ruins were further revealed by Yale professor in subsequent expeditions cosponsored by the  National Geographic.com.
coverSearching for Lost Worlds: Machu Picchu: Secrets of the Incan Empire (1999)  Can discovering the lost city of the Incas win you a seat in the U.S. Senate? It did for Hiram Bingham III. Bingham was born into a missionary family in Hawaii, married the heiress to the Tiffany fortune, and in 1911 set off to make a name for himself, hoping to find the lost city of the Incas. Archival photographs, dramatic reenactments, and stunning contemporary film  footage trace Bingham's quest from the library in Cuzco, Peru, through the valley of the Urubamba to the overgrown cities of Vitcos, Machu Picchu, and Espíritu Pampa. Order Lost City of the Incas Today! Lost City of the Incas - a gripping adventure This book tells the gripping story of the discovery of Machu Piccu. Although Bingham is an academic archaeologist he appears to be belong to the Indiana Jones school. As a travel book it is a gem - Bingham travels through uncharted teritory in the outback of Peru at the beginning of the century. He risks his life climbing the steep hillsides to Machu Piccu after getting a tip from a local farmer. But the book is also full of detail on the finds he made at the site. It is an insight into the ways of the Inca, and the archaeologist. Although it can be a bit dry in places - the lists of finds at Machu Piccu - Bingham makes up for this with his absorbing adventure story in the earlier chapters. 
Explorer of MacHu Picchu : Portrait of Hiram Bingham Order The Ancient Incas : Chronicles from National Geographic (Cultural and Geographical Exploration.) Today!Arthur Meier Schlesinger (Editor), Fred L. Israel (Editor), hiram Bingham 
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February 26, 2003

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