Mount Aconcagua Information

An Inca burial ground 5200masl

The Park is also important from the cultural and historical point of view. In 1982 an expedition from the Mendoza Mountain climbing club, led by Gabriel Cabrera together with Fernando and Juan Carlos Pierobon and Franco and Alberto Pizzolon, who were trying to finish the ascent up the South edge, found on the edge of the Pyramid, at 5200 meters, an Inca mummy 500 years old. A month after the discovery, around January 23 that same year, the climbers who had discovered the mummy and a team of archeologists organized an expedition to rescue it.

On January 28, they arrived at the discovery site. It was the beginning of a triangular spur called the Pyramid. Fifty meters away, there is another large wall that must have constituted an insurmountable obstacle for the Indians, in case they wanted to continue ascending this way.

The site was surveyed and explored for two days, finding two thick semi-circular stone walls almost destroyed and a one-meter diameter stone circle. In the filling protected by one of the stone walls was a semi-buried funerary bundle, that had been partly disclosed by the land sliding. This bundle contained the tightly folded corpse of a 7 year-old child, wrapped in several layers of cloth, the outer piece being a cloak completely embroidered with yellow feathers, probably of a parrot. As regards the grass that the climbers believed they saw, it was a set of yellow and black feathers that had formed part of a plume. The skull was broken due to erosion at having been exposed to the weather.In its interior was the brain, collapsed by dehydration.

After several hours of work, the bundle was carefully removed from the hard permafrost (frozen earth) where it was located. While archeologists prepared the mummy for the descent of Mount Aconcagua, another group continued the excavation trying to get to the stone wall from a side. Some time later, they found in the same filling where the mummy was six magnificent typical Inca-style statuettes. This dowry has a symbolic importance and a direct connection with several other high-mountain archeological fields where this kind of statuettes have also been found. The extraction and preliminary examination of this unexpected finding meant the brooch of the expedition.

Once the extraction of the funerary bundle was over, some objects were removed from the outer part: a pair of sandals of braided fiber and two little bags of the same material, one of which contained what resulted a strange variety of beans, which had been cooked. It was clear then that it was symbolic food for the trip to the other world. The expedition of Mount Aconcagua returned to Mendoza on January 31, and the later research was in charge of Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, in whose Archeology Museum the funerary bundle is kept.

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