Published July 31st, 2012
Winner of the Phillip Johnson Award from the Architectural History Association, the book — and accompanying exhibition — includes an account by Peruvian archaeologist Alfredo Valencia of recent excavations at the site, and a final essay on the meaning of Machu Picchu to modern Peruvians by the noted anthropologist Jorge Flores. Accessible to travelers, it also includes Hiram Bingham’s original report.
“In terms of my highlights, I would say that two of my favorite places in Cuzco are Kenko near Sacsahuaman, and Tipon, located to the south of Cuzco. Kenko features a large natural stone surrounded by a cut stone altar; it exemplifies the way in which the Incas treated stones as being imbued with sacred power. Tipon is a recently restored Inca royal estate with some of the most elaborate waterworks this side of Versailles; the fountains and canals are now running and the place is stunning.
At Machu Picchu, adventurous visitors should be encouraged to visit the Templo de la Luna (Temple of the moon) rather than Huayna Picchu. To get there one takes the route to Huayna Picchu but you turn left rather than right and trek down rather than up. You will be rewarded by a beautifully carved set of caves and buildings that are off the beaten track.”
Essential Reading Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley
Featuring Machu Picchu, Unveiling the Mystery of the Incas, the handy archaeological map of Machu Picchu and Ruth Wright’s invaluable Machu Pichu Guide. Burger also recommends The Incas by Craig Morris and Adriana Von Hagen. It’s an up-to-date and authoritative survey, with 150 illustrations, black-and-white and color, covers the history, politics, economics, religion, architecture, art and technology of the Inca. The authors look in detail at the capital Cusco and at the four parts of the empire, exploring not just famous sites such as Machu Picchu but all the major regional settlements.