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Machu Picchu Revealed

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Sen. Hiram Bingham, 4/4/29 (Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)

Yesterday, July 24, 2011, marked the 100th anniversary of the announcement to the world of the existence of the 15th-century Incan city, Machu Picchu, by Hiram Bingham III (1875-1956).

Not surprisingly, Machu Picchu has become a fascinating point of interest to tourists, students, archaeologists, anthropologists, and other scholars of the humanities (we know that at least one member of the Law Library’s staff has traveled there!).  The Library of Congress has over 200 texts on the subject of Machu Picchu, dating from 1913 to publications forthcoming in 2012.  Among these texts are Bingham‘s own works on the site:  In the wonderland of Peru:  the work accomplished by the Peruvian Expedition of 1912, under the auspices of Yale University and the National Geographic Society (1913); Discovery of Machu Picchu (1913); Types of Machu Picchu pottery (1915); Machu Picchu, a citadel of the Incas:  report of the explorations and excavations made in 1911, 1912, and 1915 under the auspices of Yale University and the National Geographic Society (1930); Lost city of the Incas (1948); Ciudad perdida de los Incas/Lost city of the Incas (1950); and Lost city of the Incas:  the story of Machu Picchu and its builders (1951).

Report of Peruvian Expedition, 1912 conducted by Yale University and the National Geographic Society by Hiram Bingham, Director of Expedition.

In 1988, the Peruvian government declared that the archaeological site of Machu Picchu needed emergency attention.  Since the world became aware of its existence, several attempts have been made at restoring, reconstructing, and preserving Machu Picchu – both its cultural and natural patrimony.

In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World.”  In 2010, Law No. 29584 was issued declaring the public need and national priority interest of the construction of the Machu Picchu-Santa Teresa-Santa María Road, which would provide better access to the site.  The road will also be used as an alternate route in the event of emergencies and natural disasters.

Because many of the legal instruments that I’ve referred to in this and previous blog posts come from the Global Legal Information Network (GLIN) database, I’d like to take this opportunity to share a bit about GLIN.  GLIN is a not-for-profit consortium of government agencies or their designees that contribute legal information to the GLIN database.  The publicly available online database contains statutes, regulations and other complementary legal material contributed by governments and international organizations from countries in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia.  Anyone with an internet connection can access summaries of and citations to over 197,000 legal materials from fifty-one nations.  All summaries are available to the public free of charge; and public access to full text is also available for most jurisdictions.

Currently, Peru is one of the 37 contributing members of GLIN.  I’d like to invite you to visit and make use of the database.  If you don’t find what you’re looking for, be sure to contact us at [email protected].  Also, GLIN, like some of the divisions of the Library of Congress, has joined the world of social networks via Facebook.  So don’t forget to drop by and “Like” us!

Machu Picchu. Photo by Augusto Cangahuala, July 22, 2008.

Update: This was originally published as a guest post by Francisco Macías. The author information has been updated to reflect that Francisco is now an In Custodia Legis blogger.

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