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'We've been using the wrong name for Machu Picchu a hundred years ago'

‘We’ve been using the wrong name for Machu Picchu a hundred years ago’

The UNESCO World Heritage Site Machu Picchu was known to the Incas as “Huayna Picchu” – the name of a mountaintop overlooking the ruins. So says Donato Amado Gonzalez of the Peruvian Ministry of Culture and Brian S. Power of the University of Illinois at Chicago in a publication in the archaeological journal Ñawpa Pacha.

The two researchers came to this conclusion after combing through the ancient maps, documents and original notes of the American explorer Hiram Bingham (discoverer of the Inca city). This research revealed that none of the sources referred to the summit of the mountain as Machu Picchu. They found several clues in the name of Huayna Picchu. An atlas from 1904, seven years before Bingham arrived in Peru, uses this name, among others. The word “Huayna Picchu” also appeared in the novels written by the Spanish conquistadors at the end of the 16th century.

However, there is no change in the name. “Macchu Picchu is now a well-established brand strongly associated with Peruvian identity, so what is the point of changing it?” said Natalia Sobrivilla, professor of Latin American history.Watchman

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