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Searching for Lost Worlds: Machu Picchu: Secrets of the Incan Empire [VHS]


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Review

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 EspĂ­ritu Pampa.

National Geographic sent Bingham back to Peru in 1912 to take pictures for an entire issue devoted to the Incas, whose breathtaking stonework shrines were once covered in gold, whose kings had worn cloaks of bat skin, who called silver "the tears of the moon," and gold "the sweat of the sun." Machu Picchu tells you these and other fascinating facts about the Inca and their escape route through sacred valleys and mountaintop cities as they fled the Spanish conquistadors in the early 1500s, as well as relating the story of Bingham's passion for exploration and how he parlayed his exploration fame into a political career. For anyone who dreams of the thrill of exploration, is curious about the Incan Empire, or is interested in stunning images of southeastern Peru, Machu Picchu is a great introduction to early 20th-century Incan exploration. --Tara Chace


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