Situated high in the Peruvian Andes, the fifteenth-century Inca palace complex at Machu Picchu is one of the most spectacular archaeological sites in the world. In this beautifully illustrated book, leading American and Peruvian scholars provide an unprecedented overview of the site, its place within the Inca empire, the mysteries surrounding its establishment and abandonment, and the discoveries made there since the excavations by archaeologist Hiram Bingham III in the early twentieth century. Drawing upon the most recent scientific findings, the authors vividly describe the royal estate in the cloud forest where the Inca emperor and his guests went to escape the pressures of the capital. In addition to Bingham's exciting account of his first expedition in 1911, the book includes new and archival photographs of the site as well as color illustrations and explanations of some 120 gold, silver, ceramic, bone, and textile works recovered at Machu Picchu.
Richard L. Burger, professor of anthropology at Yale University, has written many articles and books on South American prehistory, including Chavin and the Origins of Andean Civilization. Lucy C. Salazar, cocurator of the Machu Picchu exhibition and curatorial affiliate in anthropology at Yale University's Peabody Museum, is an authority on Inca archaeology and the early prehistory of Peru.