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Hiram Bingham III (1875-1956) led three expeditions to Peru, one of which resulted in bringing the Inca site of Machu Picchu to the world’s attention.   Bingham’s first visit to Machu Picchu was on July 24, 1911.  Bingham returned to Machu Picchu in 1912, carried out limited excavations, cleared and mapped the site, and brought the objects recovered back to New Haven, where they were conserved and maintained for a century at the Peabody Museum. 


In a gesture of friendship and in recognition of the unique place that Machu Picchu has come to hold for the people of Cuzco and the Peruvian nation, Yale agreed to return to Peru materials excavated by Bingham at Machu Picchu in 1912.  This was the basis of a diplomatic resolution of the dispute between Yale University and the Peruvian government.  The agreement was formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Peru on November 23 2010, a second Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Cuzco (UNSAAC) on February 11, 2011, and the return from the Peabody Museum of materials from Machu Picchu in 2011 and 2012.


Today the artifacts are housed at the Casa Concha in the Machu Picchu Museum and the International Center for the Study of Machu Picchu and the Inca Culture in downtown Cuzco. The museum is administered by UNSAAC and overseen by an advisory board drawn from UNSAAC and Yale.