Inca artifacts "borrowed" by Yale University and displayed in its
Peabody Museum became the center of a controversy in 2010 that was brought to the public's attention by various news reporters.
Peru claimed that these artifacts, many from sites such as Machu Picchu and other Inca diggings, belonged to that country and should be returned.
A lawsuit was filed.
In 1911, Hiram Bingham, a Yale University alumni (on whom of
the movie character Indiana Jones was later based) rediscovered the Inca
stronghold of Machu Picchu.
Hiram Bingham, a playboy archaeologist, made this extremely-significant discovery in the rain forest mountains of southern Peru. Then began what has been termed a "loan" or possible "looting" of Inca artifacts by Yale University's Peabody Museum.
Although Peru's then President Alan Garcia admitted that the artifacts taken from the Machu Picchu archaeological site were probably in good hands during the past 100 years, he also called for their immediate return and filed a lawsuit when an agreement was not reached.
In the collection acquired by the Peabody Museum as a result of Hiram Bingham's archaeological discoveries, there are more than
40,000 items from the Machu Picchu site, including many hundreds of
high-quality museum pieces.
In December 2010, after much controversy, an agreement was finally reached between Peru and Yale University whereby Yale would return all of the artifacts to the government of Peru.
The agreement also called for a team of archaeologists and museum experts from Yale to travel to Peru to ensure that the Inca artifacts were to be stored in a suitable place until a permanent museum could be constructed in Cusco, the capital of the ancient Inca Empire and closest city to Machu Picchu.
An historically-important house in Cusco, Peru, was renovated and became the temporary resting place for these thousands of Inca artifacts.
This manor house, dating from the period of Spanish
colonization of Peru, was deemed suitable for the storage of
the archaeological artefacts until a permanent museum could be built in Cusco.
There has been growing concern over the illegal exploitation
of hundreds of Pre-Columbian artifacts from the archaeological
dig sites in Peru, including mummies
and artifacts from sites such Chan Chan,
Kuelap, Sipan, and many others.
A lot has changed in the 100 years since Hiram Bingham first set eyes on the magnificent ruins of Machu Picchu hidden among the verdant jungle plants.
There have been numerous other archaeological discoveries in various areas of Peru. Not only has Yale's Peabody Museum acquired artifacts from Peru, either on loan or permanently, but organizations in every part of the world wake up when there is news of further archaeology news originating from this hotbed of ancient cultures.
Certainly, it is worth your while to take a trip and see these famous sites.
Sites where there is a "dig" going vary from month to month and location to location. Check local information to find out where the digs are. Usually, the nearest university to the site will have information.
|Acaray||Lima||900–200 BC, 1000–1470 AD|
|Aspero||Lima||Norte Chico||3000–1800 BC|
|Bandurria||Lima||Norte Chico||3000–1800 BC|
|El Brujo||La Libertad||Moche||100–750 AD|
|La Centinela||Ica||Chincha||0900–1450 AD|
|Caral||Lima||Norte Chico||3000–1800 BC|
|Chan Chan||La Libertad||Chimú||850–1470 AD|
|Chankillo||Ancash||Casma/Sechin culture||300 BC|
|Chavin de Huantar||Ancash||Chavín|
|El Paraíso||Chillon River Valley||3790–3065 cal BP|
|Gran Pajáten||La Libertad||Chachapoyas|
|Guitarrero Cave||Ancash||8000–7000 BC|
|Huaca de la Luna||La Libertad||Moche|
|Huaca del Sol||La Libertad||Moche|
|Huaricanga||Lima Region||Norte Chico||3500-1800 BC|
|Huchuy Qosqo||Cuzco||Inca||1420-1530 AD|
|Inka Wasi, Ayacucho||Ayacucho|
|Inka Wasi, Huancavelica||Huancavelica||Inca|
|Jisk'a Iru Muqu||Puno||South-Central Highland||3000–1400 BC|
|Kuntur Wasi||Cajamarca||Chavín||1000–700 BC|
|La Galgada||La Libertad||Kotosh Religious Tradition||2900–1800 BC|
|Las Haldas or Aldas||Ancash||2200-300 BC|
|Saksaywaman||Cusco||Killke and Inca||900–1532 AD|
|Sechin Alto||Ancash||Casma/Sechin culture||2000–1500 BCE|
|Tambo Colorado||Ica||Inca||1470–1532 AD|
|Tampu Mach'ay||Cusco||Inca||1470–1532 AD|
|Toquepala Caves||Tacna||7650 BC|
|Toro Muerto||Arequipa||Huari||900–1200 AD|
|Túcume||Lambayeque||Lambayeque, Chimú and Inca||800–1532 AD|
|Wanuku Pampa||Huánuco||Inca||1470–1532 AD|
|Wari ruins||Ayacucho||Huari||500–900 AD|