Peru on Wednesday received several hundred rare artifacts from Yale University that US archeologist Hiram Bingham took from the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu nearly 100 years ago.

The prestigious US university agreed to returned the items for the centennial of the site's "discovery" after the Peruvian government took Yale to court.

The first batch of 366 items include complete skeletons and 1,000 shards of ceramic. Yale agreed to return some 45,000 pieces by the end of 2012, said Culture Minister Juan Ossio.

Peruvian authorities last year settled a long battle with Yale to return the pieces, which Bingham took to the university between 1912 and 1916 on loan from Peru.

The items will briefly be on display in Lima before they are transferred to the southeastern city of Cusco, Ossio said.

The 15th century mountain citadel of Machu Picchu, a UNESCO world heritage site, stands on Peru's eastern slopes of the Andes, some 2,430 meters (7,970 feet) above sea level, and has long been South America's most popular tourist attraction.