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  • ( intro music )

  • ( Peruvian flute )

  • Hiebert: National Geographic's relationship

  • with photography and Peru are all intertwined.

  • All of Peru,

  • unbelievable country of mysteries and surprises.

  • This is definitely one of the centers of civilization.

  • It's really incredible to be able

  • to look into the eyes of an ancient ruler.

  • This is the power of archaeology.

  • ( applause )

  • Hiebert: Thank you all for being here.

  • I want to talk to you

  • a little bit about being a representative

  • of National Geographic and working

  • in these great civilizations

  • and I like to bring storytelling

  • to these and I like to tell stories about heroes.

  • National Geographic's relationship

  • with photography and Peru are all intertwined.

  • I want to tell you that little story.

  • I actually want to start by telling you

  • a little bit about Peru.

  • It's extraordinarily photogenic.

  • This is a photograph by Hiram Bingham

  • who documented the high mountains of Peru.

  • This is really what makes Peru

  • one of the great centers of civilization,

  • is its geography.

  • The high mountains, the beautiful rich valleys

  • between the mountains and the coast.

  • The coastal deserts which were once

  • described in the pages of National Geographic

  • as being small Nile Deltas.

  • And in fact unlike Egypt that has 1 Nile River,

  • northern Peru has 20 of these deltas.

  • It's unbelievable you can have 1 foot

  • in the fertile delta and 1 foot in the desert.

  • This makes it an extraordinary place

  • for preservation and creation

  • of ancient civilization.

  • It's a place where archaeological sites

  • tower above the countryside.

  • This particular mound that you see in the front

  • is actually a Peruvian pyramid.

  • Here's an example of what one could imagine

  • that looked like in the past.

  • There are 20 such river valleys in northern Peru.

  • It's an outstanding, unbelievable relationship

  • and much of it has to do with the fact

  • that it is one of the largest, most productive coasts

  • along the pacific coast of the New World.

  • Its unbelievable culture, unbelievable country

  • and it's that geographic relationship

  • that we like to explain, helps explain

  • how Peru is a country that can both be described

  • as having over 10,000 archaeological sites

  • or as I like to say, "There's only 1 site in Peru,

  • all of Peru."

  • It is really, you walk the Inca Trail

  • and you really can't tell when you're

  • on a site and off a site.

  • The entire country from the north coast

  • to the south coast, from east to west,

  • It's unbelievable country of mysteries and surprises.

  • Now I'm actually going to start telling

  • this story a little bit before

  • the founding of National Geographic

  • because so many travelers and adventurers

  • have been attracted to Peru.

  • It's sort of mysterious and wonderful.

  • It's been attracting people for hundreds of years.

  • Its history goes back more than 3,000 years.

  • It has separate cultural traditions on the north coast,

  • the highlands,

  • and the south coast.

  • It's really phenomenal.

  • I have to take my hat off to yet

  • another set of incredible heroes.

  • Julio Tello, the father of Peruvian archaeologists.

  • He was from the highlands.

  • He really introduced the idea

  • of Andean civilization.

  • He began to study the cultures of ancient Peru.

  • He's one of the 1st researchers

  • to come up with that chronology.

  • He had a partner, Rafael Larco.

  • These 2 guys, they kind of fought over

  • where the heart and soul of Peru lay.

  • You had Tello, who was from the highlands,

  • who argued for temples and islands

  • and you had Larco, who came from the coast

  • he said, "Not, it is coast cultures"

  • and that debate continues to this day.

  • We all were fascinated by the mystery and culture

  • and we all thought that this site

  • which Tello worked at, that Larco worked at,

  • the famous temple of Chavín de Huántar.

  • It was really the heart,

  • the essence of Andean civilization.

  • It was so important

  • and it was so mysterious and so luxurious

  • that it actually became my introduction to archeology

  • and my introduction to South America.

  • I had the chance to visit--

  • ( laughter )

  • Well, okay, it wasn't last year.

  • All right so, you're looking at this statue,

  • you see this statue, right?

  • It's carved and beautiful 3,500 years old.

  • Oh, yeah, I was a hippie.

  • Once, a little while ago.

  • But that's Chavín de Huántar.

  • What an introduction to South America.

  • What an introduction to Peru,

  • to go visit a place.

  • What a way to get inaugurated

  • into the wonders of archaeology.

  • It's great and I became intrigued with the history

  • of all this exploration and who went and where.

  • We all sort of looked even further back

  • into the pages, "Who was exploring?"

  • "Who was caught with this mystery

  • of wonder of the archaeology and culture?"

  • I became enamored with this particular fellow,

  • Ephraim Squier.

  • He was a wonderful explorer

  • for the U.S. government.

  • He was sent as the commissioner to Peru

  • by none other than Abraham Lincoln in the 1860s.

  • This is how far the history goes back in this

  • and the wonderful storytelling.

  • As commissioner, he wrote

  • this incredible book called,

  • "The Land of the Incas,"

  • illustrated with 500 woodcuts.

  • Really, I mean, it was the artistry,

  • the magnificence, the wonder of this country

  • that attracted people.

  • These woodcuts were known and reproduced.

  • This was a very popular book

  • published in the 1877.

  • People were so desirous.

  • I became fascinated because there was

  • this photograph of Ephraim Squier

  • and being here at National Geographic

  • we're, naturally, very interested in photographs.

  • But you know, Squier,

  • he made these incredible illustrations

  • that are woodcuts in his book

  • and we assumed that he must

  • have had a photographic memory.

  • Look at this bridge, unbelievable.

  • You had to go to Peru to imagine

  • that something like that was real.

  • It was so exciting for me to see,

  • in a woodcut like this of Alto Peru

  • which is today on the other side

  • of Lake Titicaca but still part

  • of this greater Peruvian...

  • I became quite curious, being here at National Geographic,

  • "How did somebody record something like this?"

  • It was only recently and I was so excited

  • to be able to find the photo archives

  • that were the basis for the 500 woodcuts.

  • It shows the relationship between

  • photography and archaeology.

  • We have one of the great photographers

  • of National Geographic, Kenny Garrett, who's here,

  • who can attest to the fact

  • that photographing in Peru

  • is like photographing a wonderland.

  • It was amazing to see how beautifully

  • reproduced the photographs.

  • Here's one of the woodcuts from 1877.

  • Here's one of the newly discovered photographs

  • that Squier took.

  • He was not only an explorer,

  • he himself was a photographer.

  • I became intrigued with this aspect,

  • this relationship between

  • photography and archaeology.

  • I think it's critical to our understanding of the past.

  • Not only in Peru and Central America,

  • in Egypt and Greece, it's so exciting.

  • I became attracted to another one

  • of the greatest photographers who ever crossed into Peru,

  • Hiram Bingham.

  • Yes, Hiram Bingham is known primarily

  • for describing Machu Picchu, but do people

  • realize that he was an incredible photographer?

  • At that time, 1911 and 1912, being director of an expedition

  • meant that you were also the photographer.

  • He had this incredible camera created by Kodak for him

  • and he took these pictures

  • that were not just documentation

  • but were art themselves.

  • They were the 1st rock star archaeology project

  • in National Geographic.

  • His photographs really are incredible.

  • We have about 2,000 of these photographs

  • here in the photo archives and some day

  • we're going to do an exhibition

  • of the photo archives here.

  • It's just an incredible opportunity

  • to work with people like Bill Bonner,

  • here in the photo archives

  • and see exactly what the genius of photography is.

  • If you look at this picture

  • taken by Bingham of Machu Picchu

  • with the mountains and the cloud

  • and the local personality on the right hand.

  • It is such a story,

  • such a photographic essay in 1 picture.

  • It's really very, very inspirational.

  • He also documented the people of Peru.

  • For me, this is the real gift

  • that Hiram Bingham gave to Peru,

  • which is a wonderful photo record

  • of Peru and ancient Peru

  • and the people of Peru all living together.

  • What an inspiration for cultural heritage.

  • This isn't the only time

  • that we've photographed Peru and ancient Peru.

  • We've been at the forefront

  • and if we fast forward to really

  • one of the 1st color photos of an archaeological picture

  • published in National Geographic magazine,

  • it, of course, came from Peru.

  • This is William Duncan Strong

  • who in 1946 came to Peru

  • and after seeing all these wonderful artifacts,

  • came in hopes of finding

  • the 1st intact Moche burial.

  • Moche is a northern coast period in Peru

  • about 2,000 years old, very mysterious,

  • only known from the artifacts

  • and his intention was to come

  • and document an intact burial,

  • almost an impossible feat.

  • But, they found one on the coast

  • and to quote from the 1947 issue of the magazine,

  • Strong and Evans found this burial and everybody

  • was so excited.

  • They'd never seen an intact burial

  • from 2,000 years ago.

  • So, they opened it up and Evans said,

  • "I'm hungry, let's have lunch."

  • ( laughter )

  • I tell you, I love reading past National Geographics.

  • It's really great.

  • So, all of his workmen were sitting there confused

  • because they just found something

  • that had never been found before.

  • The next picture which was published

  • in the pages of National Geographic,

  • is the 1st time you are looking inside

  • of an intact Moche burial.

  • I think that this is something

  • that National Geographic has taken on

  • as a cachet in terms of telling

  • the stories of the ancient populations.

  • This is a unique picture,

  • "12 pots that have never been seen together in situ."

  • This documentation went around the world

  • in April 1947.

  • These 2 people, Strong and Evans,

  • became a hero of mine as we pursued this past.