This article appears in the April 1913 issue of National Geographic magazine and retains the original language and spellings.
The Troubles of a Cartographer
Owing to a most unfortunate misunderstanding, occasioned by the difficulty of getting messages transmitted in an uninhabited region, quite a little of (chief cartographer) Mr. (Albert H.) Bumstead’s work was unintentionally destroyed. It was necessary for him to leave the Cuzco Basin and work on the Andine cross-section before the Cuzco map was completed. This was occasioned by the rapid approach of the rainy season. Arrangements were made with the chief engineer of the Southern railways to have the map photographed. The permanent contour lines were inked in, but all streams, roads, ruins, terraces, plane-table locations, and many geographical names and all elevations were left on the sheet in pencil.
The photographer thought that the map looked rather badly with all these pencil-marks on it, and a telegram was sent to the director, requesting permission to erase all pencil-marks. This telegram was received six weeks later, on my return from a difficult journey into the interior.
It was then too late to save Mr. Bumstead’s work, for the photographer, impatient at the delay, and not receiving permission to clean the map, had gone ahead on his own responsibility and erased what a month of careful field-work could not replace. As Mr. Bumstead says in his report:
“... Only one who has seen his patient and painstaking work destroyed can imagine my feelings when I returned to Cuzco within about a week of the time when the new Peruvian government said we must stop all our work—weary and almost discouraged from a trip that had ended in profitless waiting in a leaky tent for a cold rain to stop and permit the work to proceed through a region where the rainy season had set in in good earnest—only to find that all the above mentioned penciling on the Cuzco Valley map had been completely and absolutely lost.”
Hampered for Lack of Time
The new Peruvian government had stipulated in their decree that all the work of excavating and exploring must cease on the first of December, and the local authorities were directed to see to it that this order was carried out. In the limited time that remained it was impossible to finish the map of the Cuzco Valley as carefully as it had been begun.
It was decided, however, that it would be much better to map the area needed by the geologist as well as it could be done before the day set by the government for the conclusion of our work. Accordingly, great pains have been taken to show the true character of the topography.
The scale of the Cuzco Valley map is 1 inch to the mile, and the contour interval is 100 feet. The map covers in all 174 square miles. It includes nearly all the territory that drains into the valley of the River Huatanay, which rises in the mountains back of Cuzco, flows through the city and under part of it between walls constructed by the Incas, crosses the bed of an ancient lake, and finally joins the upper waters of the Urubamba, called at this point the Vilcanota or Vilcamayu.
Peruvian rivers have a habit of changing their names every few miles, and this particular river is no exception. It is called at various times the Vilcanota, the Vilcamayu, the Rio Grande, the Urubamba, the Santa Ana, and finally unites with other rivers to form the Ucayali, one of the great branches of the Amazon.
Mr. Bumstead’s map of Cuzco Valley shows the elevations and relative positions of Cuzco, the great cyclopean fortress of Sacsahuaman, and the four historic roads leading out of the ancient Inca capital. It also aims to bring out clearly the chief topographic and physiographic features that are characteristic of the locality. It will be used by Professor Gregory and Dr. Eaton as a basis for their reports on the geology and osteology of this region. If extensive scientific archeological work is ever permitted in this region, this map will be of great service in determining the geographic influences in the location of the ruins.
Exploration of the Aobamba Valley
As part of our plan to cover the area included between the Urubamba and Apurimac rivers, an archeological and topographical reconnaissance was made of the hitherto unexplored Aobamba Valley. Assistant Topographer Heald undertook to approach this problem from the mouth of the valley at the junction of the Aobamba and Urubamba rivers. He met with almost insuperable difficulties.
Although the work looked easy as far as we could see from the mouth of the valley, he found that 4 miles from the mouth, up the winding stream, the jungle was so dense as to be almost impassable. There was no trail and the trees were so large and the foliage so dense that observations were impossible even after the trail had been cut. During a hard afternoon’s work in jungle of this kind, with four or five men aiding in making the path, they succeeded in advancing only one mile.
Reconnaissance work in this type of jungle is extremely discouraging and unprofitable. Furthermore, there are occasionally some dangers—as, for instance, the following from Mr. Heald’s account of his reconnaissance:
“On the way back to camp one of the men had a narrow escape from a snake, being grasped and held by another of the peons just in time to prevent his stepping on it. It was a small, dust-colored snake, about 10 inches long, and on being examined was found to possess two small poison fangs far back in the jaw. The fangs differed from those of most poisonous snakes in that they slanted back very little, coming almost straight down to the lower jaw.”
Three New Groups of Ruins Reported
There was little of archeological interest in the portion of the valley which Mr. Heald succeeded in reaching. Quite unexpectedly, however, I got into the upper reaches of the valley about ten days’ later and found some interesting ruins and had an unexpected adventure. It happened on this wise:
The largest and richest estate in the Urubamba Valley, Huadquiña, is owned by the Señora Carmen Vargas, who inherited from her father about 1,000,000 square miles of land lying between the Urubamba and Apurimac rivers. Some of the land is occupied by sugar plantations; other parts are given over to the raising of sheep and cattle, while a large portion is still tropical jungle. Señora Carmen has always received us most hospitably and done everything in her power to further our efforts.
Her son-in-law, Don Tomas Alvistur, an enthusiastic amateur archeologist, took a considerable amount of interest in our work and was quite delighted when he discovered that some of the Indians on the plantation knew of three localities where there were Inca ruins, so they said, that had not previously been visited by white men.
Don Tomas invited me to accompany him on a visit to these three groups of ruins, but when the time came to go he found that business engagements made it impossible for him to do more than accompany me part of the way to the first group. He went to the trouble, however, of securing three Indian guides and carriers and gave them orders to carry my small outfit whenever it was impossible for the pack-mule to be used, and to guide me safely to the three ruins and home again.
They did not greatly relish these orders, but as they were all feudal tenants, holding their land on condition of rendering a certain amount of personal service every year in lieu of rent, they were constrained to carry out the orders of their overlord.
After Don Tomas departed I was left to the tender mercies of the Indians and of my faithful muleteer, Luis. The Indians had told us that one could visit all three ruins and return the next day. This information, however, did not prevent me from putting in supplies for at least a five days’ journey, although I little anticipated what was actually going to happen.
The end of the first day’s journey found us on top of a ridge about 5,000 feet above the place where we had started, in the midst of a number of primitive ruins and two or three modern huts.
Llacta Pata, the Ruins of an Inca Castle
This place was called Llacta Pata. We found evidence that some Inca chieftain had built his castle here and had included in the plan ten or a dozen buildings. They are made of rough stones laid in the mud, with the usual symmetrical arrangement of doors and niches. It would be interesting to excavate here for three or four weeks and get sufficient evidence in the way of sherds and artifacts to show just what connection the people who built and occupied this mountain stronghold had to the other occupants of the valley.
After measuring the ruins and taking a few photographs, I asked the Indians how far it was to the next group of ruins, and was told it was “two or three hours journey.”
Possibly it could be done by an Indian runner, with nothing to carry, in four or five hours, but we had three mules, that is, our two saddle-mules and the one pack-mule, whose load, weighing about 100 pounds, included a small tent, cooking outfit, blankets, and enough provisions for five days.
Although I had selected for this journey one of the best and strongest pack mules which we possessed, and although his load was not much more than a third of what he could comfortably carry on a good road, he found it impossible to carry this load over the trail that we found before us.
During the first two or three hours the trail passed through a dense tropical jungle. We repeatedly had to make detours to avoid deep sloughs, and occasionally had to stop in order to have branches cut away so that the mules might get through.
The trail grew rapidly worse, the pack-mule fell down four or five times, and finally became so frightened that he refused to attempt a place in the trail where it was necessary for him to jump up about four feet on a slippery rock. It was consequently necessary to unload him and distribute the cargo among the Indian carriers, and get all hands to help pull and push the mules over the bad spots in the mountain foot trail. This went on at intervals during the remainder of the day.
As a result we found ourselves at nightfall on a grassy slope on the side of the mountain about 15,000 feet above sea level. A little shelter here and the presence of a small spring made the Indians prefer to pass the night at this point. The next morning we crossed a high pass and descended rapidly into a steep-walled valley, containing one of the upper tributaries of the Aobamba. The lower slopes were covered with a dense forest, which gradually gave way to scrub and grass up to the snow-line. About 2 o’clock in the afternoon we reached the valley bottom at a point where several smaller tributaries unite to form the principal west branch of the Aobamba. The place was called Palcay.
Here we found two or three modern Indian huts, one of them located in a very interesting ruined stronghold called Llacta. As the location of the stronghold in the bottom of a valley was not easily defensible, a wall about 12 feet in height surrounded the quadrangular ruin.
The stronghold was about 145 feet square and divided by two narrow cross streets into four equal quarters. Two of these quarters had been completed, and consisted of five houses arranged around a courtyard in a symmetrical fashion. The third quarter was almost complete, while the fourth quarter had only the beginnings of two or three houses. Each one of the four quarters had a single entrance gate on its north side. This will be more readily understood by consulting the plan on page 559.
The characteristics of the buildings are distinctly Inca and resemble in many ways those found at Choqquequirau in 1909. The stronghold was made of blocks of stone laid in mud, the buildings of symmetrical pattern, with doors narrower at the top than at the bottom; no windows, but interior ornaments of niches and projecting cylinders alternating between the niches. Whenever the wind did not blow, the gnats were very bad, which made the work of measuring and mapping the ruins extremely annoying.
Deserted by the Indian Guides
I should like to have continued the journey the next day, but the Indians objected, saying that it was Sunday and that they needed the rest. This “rest” gave them an opportunity for concocting a plan of escape, and on Monday morning, when I was ready to start for the third group of ruins, there were no guides or carriers in sight.
Neither Luis nor I had ever been in the region before. We could of course have gone back on foot over the trail on which we had come, but it was very doubtful whether we could have succeeded in getting our mules over that trail, even though we had abandoned our outfit, and we knew that a loaded mule could not possibly go over the trail without constant assistance and a number of helping hands.
To aid us in our dilemma there came a little Indian who inhabited one of the huts near the ruins. He offered for a consideration to guide us out of the valley by another road, and said that it went near the other ruins. He also said that it might not be possible to use this road “if the pass had much snow in it.”
We talked to him with difficulty, for, like most mountain Indians, he had no knowledge of Spanish, and our own knowledge of Quichua was somewhat limited. However, there was nothing for it but to follow our new guide, and by distributing the cargo on the three mules make it as easy as possible for the poor beasts to use the foot-path, or goat trail, which was indicated as our “road.”
We had not gone more than half a mile before an abrupt ascent in the trail and a huge sloping rock barred the way for the mules for over half an hour. This difficulty being surmounted, we went on for another mile, only to find our way crossed by a huge avalanche of gigantic granite boulders and glacial drift, which had come down from the slopes of Mount Salcantay during the past year. A couple of hours were spent in negotiating the trail across this landslide.
We then found ourselves near the ruins of a village. Judging by the primitive appearance of the ruins, it could not have been a place of much importance and it is impossible to say whether it had been occupied since the Spanish conquest or not.
The Discovery of Ten Magnificent Glaciers
Climbing up the valley beyond this ruined village and turning a corner, we came into full view of 10 magnificent glaciers—eight of them in a cirque in front of us and two on the slopes of Salcantay behind us. As the guide was very well informed as to the names of different parts of the valley and could give names for most of the peaks but none for any for the glaciers, I have named these as follows:
Hadley Glacier, in honor of the President of Yale University.
Gannett Glacier, in honor of the President of the National Geographic Society.
Grosvenor Glacier, in honor of the Editor and Director of the National Geographic Society.
Bryce Glacier, in honor of His Excellency James Bryce, the British Ambassador, whose interest and enthusiastic support has greatly stimulated our work.
Harkness Glacier, in honor of Edward S. Harkness, Esq., of New York, whose generous assistance was largely responsible for making possible the expeditions of 1911 and 1912.
Alfreda Mitchell Glacier, in honor of my wife, without whose cooperation none of this work could have been done.
Taft Glacier, in recognition of the courteous assistance we received from the United States government.
Leguia Glacier, in recognition of the courteous assistance we received from the Peruvian government.
Morkill Glacier, in recognition of the courteous assistance we received from the Peruvian corporation.
Yale Glacier—for obvious reasons.
While we were enjoying the wonderful spectacle and wondering whether any civilized being had ever seen the glaciers before, a magnificent gray deer with eight prongs to his horns sprang out of the grass near us, gave us a long look of interested interrogation, and then dashed off to find his friends.
Our little guide was more interested in the looks of the pass than in the deer, and although he shook his head as it came into view, it seemed to us that we were most fortunate, for there appeared to be no snow whatever on the trail all the way to the top of the pass. But we neglected to take into account the fact that we were approaching the pass from the north or sunny side, and that there might be snow on the trail on the other side of the pass, on the south or shady slope.
The Grandeur of the Scenery
All thoughts of this, however, were temporarily swept aside by the magnificent view of Salcantay, which we now had on our right hand. The picture on page 563 gives but a faint idea of the grandeur of this mountain. In many ways it is an ideally beautiful peak, rising as it does to a sharp point, with its sides covered with snow and ice, and lifting its head so magnificently thousands of feet higher than anything else in the vicinity.
Our own elevation at the time was a little over 16,000 feet, and a conservative estimate would place the top of the mountain at least 5,000 feet above us. It was a very great disappointment that we were unable, owing to the bad weather, to get the mountain triangulated, so that its height still remains an unknown quantity.
The American mining engineers at Ferrobamba believe it to be the highest peak in the Andes, and Mr. Stevens, the superintendent of the mine, which is nearly 100 miles away from the mountain, told me that he had seen it from so many distant points of the Andes that he felt confident it must be the highest mountain in South America.
Just before getting to the top of the pass we turned aside for a few moments to see the remains of a hole in the ground where it is said that there was once an ancient gold mine.
A few specimens of rock brought from the tailings appear to contain small quantities of silver and copper, but the altitude is so great and the surroundings so difficult that it is not likely that this mine will ever be a profitable working proposition.
The Mules Stampede on a Snow Slope
Our joy in the scarcity of snow on the north side of the pass was instantly reduced to despair when we reached the summit and looked down a precipitous slope covered with snow for a distance of at least 1,000 feet below us.
The sandal-shod mountain Indians, whose occasional huts are the only signs of human habitation hereabouts, had made a zig-zag path in the snow by means of tramping down the upper crust with roughly cut stumps of stunted mountain trees. The path was about eight inches wide.
Our mules had never been in the snow before. At first our Indian guide declared he would not go down with us, as he was afraid of snow blindness, but he was persuaded to accompany us.
Our mules took a few steps on the little path, then decided that the white snow field looked more inviting and left the path, fell into the soft snow up to their ears, floundered around and attempted to stampede, and rolled down the side of the mountain. It was nearly half an hour before we got them safely back on the trail again, where they stood trembling and unwilling to attempt the descent. Coaxing and curses were equally of no avail. Pulling, hauling, and beating were alternately resorted to.
Somehow or other, chiefly because our trail lay down hill, so that when they fell and floundered off the path they always landed a little nearer to their goal than when they had started, we eventually got the mules to the foot of the declivity, but only after several narrow escapes and three hours of hard work. As we looked back up the trail it seemed that perhaps 1,500 feet would be a more exact estimate of the height of the snow-covered slope.
Just at dusk we reached the first hut in the valley, and found that we were in one of the upper branches of the Chamaná River, a tributary of the Urubamba, which Mr. Tucker, of the 1911 expedition, had reconnoitered the preceding year.
Discovery of the Pictographic Rock
In this valley was the third group of ruins which we had been told about. Their most unusual feature lay in the fact that the Incas, desiring to save as much of the upland valley floor as possible for agricultural purposes, had straightened the bed of the meandering stream and inclosed it in a stone-lined channel, making it practically perfectly straight for nearly three-quarters of a mile.
The valley is still used to a certain extent for raising and freezing potatoes. The owner of the hut near which we camped entertained our Indian guide in compensation for his assistance in spreading potatoes to be frozen that night some distance below us in the valley bottom. The next day our guide took us back up the valley and out through a smaller tributary, where we crossed the divide between the Urubamba and Apurimac valleys and descended toward the town of Limatambo.
This was one of the most fortunate accidents of the trip, for had we decided to go down the Chamaná over Mr. Tucker’s route and return quickly down the Urubamba to our starting point, we should have missed seeing a most interesting rock which lay alongside of the little path we followed on this day’s journey.
Neither the guide nor the muleteer had their eyes open for petroglyphic or pictographic markings, and so did not notice that they had passed close to the only rock so far discovered in the department of Cuzco that contains petroglyphs. Others have been reported by vague rumor, but none so far have been located except this one, whose existence was known to one or two cowboys on a neighboring ranch. The photograph gives a better idea of the markings than can be expressed in words.
The character of the petroglyphs is essentially savage. They remind one of some of the glyphs used by our own western Indians. It seems to me possible that these marks were left on this rock by an Amazon Indian tribe who came thus far on the road to Cuzco. In the vicinity there were a few groups of stones which might indicate the former presence of rude huts, but until a comparative study can be made of all the pictographs and petroglyphs in Peru and in the Amazon basin it will be difficult to speak very definitely about this new discovery.
That night I was most hospitably entertained at a small ranch house and the next day made a forced march to Cuzco, reaching there shortly before midnight. This journey, which began so inauspiciously and might have ended in disastrous failure, actually produced more results in the discovery of hitherto undescribed ruins than any other part of the work.
In 1909, owing to the courtesy of the Peruvian government and at their urgent invitation, I had visited the ruins of Choqquequirau. An account of this visit was published in the American Anthropologist for October-December, 1910 (pages 505-525), and also in my Across South America, pages 291-323.
A French expedition had visited the ruins about 60 years before and had reached them from the north, over a path that has turned back several expeditions since then. In 1909, owing to the existence of a small temporary bridge, I was able to reach them from the south, but had not found it possible to spend more than four days there.
That bridge disappeared some time ago, and as it was now deemed advisable to attempt a further reconnaissance of those celebrated ruins, I asked Mr. Heald to see whether he could not reach them from the north, across the cordillera of Vilcabamba. An enthusiastic young German merchant in Cuzco had attempted this feat two years before, but failed to get more than half way from Yanama, the nearest settlement.
Knowing Mr. Heald’s pluck, I felt sure that he could get there if anybody could, but that if he failed the only alternative must be to reconstruct the bridge over the Apurimac. The latter would have been a serious undertaking, as the river is over 200 feet wide and the rapids are strong and very dangerous.
Mr. Heald not only succeeded in reaching Choqquequirau, but visited the place three times, made a passable trail, and was able to conduct thither Dr. Eaton and Dr. Nelson. Their stay was limited by the very great difficulties which they encountered in securing laborers to accompany them, and in carrying sufficient food for themselves and the laborers over the extremely rough country.
A Hard Day’s Work
As a sample of the difficulties encountered, let me quote the following from Mr. Heald’s account of his first day out from Yanama:
“... After a three hours’ climb we reached a spot well above 14,000 feet and had a splendid view of the country. From here I could get an idea of the kind of traveling I would encounter, and it did not look very inviting. Where the jungle was not thick the mountain-sides were steep and rocky. I could see the course of the Apurimac, somewhere near which was Choqquequirau, and the green cane fields in the province of Abancay, on the other side.
“From a purely artistic point of view the country was wonderful, with its splendid ranges of gleaming white peaks all covered by glaciers, and the dark green of the jungle below leading down into straight-sided valleys with streams white with foam running down them. From the point of view of one who had to travel through it for the purpose of getting to a place, location unknown, and making a trail to that place, it was anything but lovely…
“After looking my fill and taking compass readings on Yanama and various prominent points, we started down. There had been condors swinging above us ever since we had reached the high point, and now one flew quite close. I fired at him with the 22 Winchester automatic, and for a moment thought he was going to fall. He recovered his balance, however, and went sailing off; but after traveling about half a mile he suddenly collapsed and fell, turning over and over and over into the brush, where, after quite a hunt, we found him, dead.
“He was a splendid bird, spreading a little over 9 feet 6 inches and measuring 4 feet from bill to tail tip. This shot showed both the hitting power of the little 22 and the wonderful vitality of the condor. The mushroom bullet had gone through breast and breast-bone, lungs, liver, and intestines, lodging against a thigh-bone. Tomás carried the bird back to the hacienda, where the prowess of the little rifle caused much admiration. We took off the skin and spread it to dry on one of the frames built to jerk meat, of which there were several in the yard. Next morning it was nowhere to be seen, and, as the mayor-domo said that it was no use looking for it, I surmised that he knew where it was and agreed with him ...”
Trouble With Bears and Jungle Flies
Dr. Eaton’s party had some trouble with hungry bears, which broke open a food box and devoured a quantity of precious provisions. These bears belong to the spectacled-bear genus, and, although plentiful in this region, are extremely shy and hard to get a shot at.
The perils of the trail were many, but the most serious handicap, as every explorer has found in this region before, and the most annoying thing they had to endure, was the ever-present swarms of green jungle-flies. Mr. Heald says in his report:
“They are little fellows, but the way they bite is not the least in proportion to their size. Every place they bite they leave a bloodspot the size of a pin-head, and this burns and itches for two or three days. There were swarms of them, and soon we were all swelling. The only thing we could do was to grin and bear it. When we stopped to rest we made a smudge, but while traveling the best we could do was to slaughter as many as we could.
“... With the coming of dark the flies had left us, but they left us in very bad shape. Not a man of us could bend his wrists, they were so swollen: the knuckles on the hands were invisible, and our eyes were mere slits that it cost an effort to open enough to look out of. Still, there was a lot to be thankful for. There was lots of dry wood where we stopped, and we soon had a fire going, which warmed and dried us. The night was clear, so there was no danger of being gotten out of bed by rain. I had shot a jungle duck, and the inner man was perfectly satisfied. What bothered me most was that I was afraid the peons would try to run away, and I very much doubted my ability to carry enough food to enable us to find Choqquequirau without their help ...”
The Scarcity of Water and Suffering From Thirst
Their most serious difficulty, however, was the lack of water and the height and steepness of the mountains, which cut them off from any possible water supply. Here is a sample of what they suffered:
“The next morning, when I went to fill my canteen with water, I found that there was none. The men said that they had drunk it, but I felt pretty sure that they had poured it out, believing that then we would have to turn back. I would have done so (though no farther than the spring we had uncovered the day before), but the Director had told me there was a spring easily found at Choqquequirau, and I was confident that we must be near the place.
“In front of us rose a sharp ridge. I was sure that if we gained its top we would see the city on the other side. The fire had cleared the ground, so going was not hard; it had also cleared out the flies. After about two hours of climbing we stood on top of the lowest saddle of the ridge. This had been reached after some rather ticklish cliff-climbing. On looking over the other side we were tremendously disappointed, for instead of a city there was an impassable ravine. All the morning we worked along the knife edge of ravines, hoping that the city would come into view, and always disappointed.
“By noon we had come to where the ridge merged into the mountain proper and were working along its sides. After the stop for lunch the men refused to go any farther. They said if they did it would be merely to die of thirst; that the city of Choqquequirau was non-existent, and that they did not wish to die just because I did.”
Extreme Measures Become Necessary
“I knew we couldn’t make them work, but I thought we could force them to travel. Giving the 22 to Tomás, I told him to shoot any man who tried to bolt, but to do it carefully, around the edges. Then, taking a machete, I started ahead, cutting the way, and told them to follow. As Tomás stood between them and the back trail, they decided to do so, and for two hours we went ahead in that way. By that time I was just about exhausted, as we were working through thick cane and I was going at top speed. (It should not be forgotten that all this time Mr. Heald was suffering from the effects of his accident on Huayna Picchu, which had partially disabled his right arm.)
“Coming out on a little shoulder, I thought I saw some ruins on the next spur ahead. Looking through my glass confirmed it. Then I pointed them out to the men. They too saw them, and after that there was no trouble. They were as anxious to get there as I was, for we were all suffering from thirst, and I had told them there was a spring there.
“Two hours of hard work placed us on the spur, though still high above the ruins. From there we could see several stone houses and two thatched huts, which had been left by the treasure-hunters who had come from Abancay two years previously. Just at dark we reached these huts. They showed signs of the old occupancy. There were two or three skulls lying around. A table-stone or two were in evidence and in one corner was an old Inca pot.
“... While four of us were fixing camp I sent the other two out to look for water. In an hour they came back with the news that there was none to be found. By this time we were all very thirsty, but there was nothing to do but grin and bear it.”
Water Hard to Find
“About midnight I was wakened by a man crying and pleading. It was Tomás, who was having a nightmare. This in itself would not have been serious, but it excited the superstitions of the peons. They said the Incas were angry because we were there, and they wanted to be gone at daylight. I thought it best to spend some time making a search for the spring; so, as soon as it was light, we started and for an hour hunted in the jungle, but without result. The best we could do was to get water from air plants and chew certain bulbs which contained much moisture. This was not such a small help as it might seem, for many of the air plants had a good swallow of water in them, though of course we got it drop by drop at a time.
“Giving up hopes of finding a spring near the city, we took the back trail. We were all pretty weak, but we made very fair time. Reaching the ridge, we climbed down by a new way, marking our trail with piles of stones, and also followed a new trail back to the draw in which the spring was, striking the draw a good deal higher up. This turned out to be a better road; also it led us to the discovery of a series of stone-faced terraces, and at one point in them the spring broke through, so that with a little fixing we could get all the water we wanted, and that was a good deal.”
They later found water within an hour’s walk of Choqquequirau, and had a plentiful supply for the work of excavating as long as their provisions lasted. They had hoped to accomplish a good deal of map-work, but, owing to the great amount of rain and the almost continuous prevalence of fog and mist, little could be done besides making a route map.
Accidents Among the Indians
The Indians suffered quite as much as the white men on this journey. One of the bearers, who was carrying a food-box weighing 60 pounds, slipped on a steep bank and fell 20 feet; the box, which fell with him, opened his head. The man was not killed, but of course had to be sent home, and as laborers were extremely scarce, his presence was seriously missed.
Another Indian ran a stick into his foot and blood-poisoning ensued. A third slipped off a precipitous rock and fortunately was saved by the rope which had been tied to his waist when passing this dangerous part of the trail, although he had a toe-nail torn off and suffered considerably from blood-poisoning.
The results of these hardships were the route map―the first ever made of this section of the Andes—the discovery of a number of hitherto unknown Inca engineering works, including ditches and agricultural terraces, now buried deep in the jungle and practically inaccessible, and a few boxes of archeological and osteological specimens.
Because of the scarcity of labor, the terror of the Indians, and the small quantity of provisions that could be carried over the extremely difficult trail, the party was only able to spend five days at Choqquequirau. Under Dr. Eaton’s direction 11 graves were examined and such skeletal material and pottery collected as four men could carry on their return march. No metal objects were found in these graves.
The method of burial was similar to that observed at Machu Picchu, except that the construction of bottle-necked graves was far superior at Choqquequirau, and this style of grave apparently more in vogue than at Machu Picchu. It may be noted here as significant that apparently the best example of the bottle-necked grave at Machu Picchu was found in a house closely resembling in its architectural details the buildings at Choqquequirau.
This route had only been used three times previously: (1) by the French explorer Sartiges in 1834, (2) by the Peruvian explorer Samanez in 1861, and (3) by the Almanza brothers in 1885. It was used successfully this year for the first time since 1885. Great credit is due Mr. Heald for his courage and perseverance.