Details about the mummy of Aconcagua

For many it will not be news, but perhaps for others the fact of knowing that the highest mountain in America and the southern and western hemispheres was, during the Inca Period (1,400 to 1532 AD) an important high altitude shrine, where the tender life of a child was offered at more than 5,000 meters. It all happened during the summer of 1985, that year, the Club Andinista Mendoza (CAM) celebrated its 50th anniversary and, as part of the commemorative activities, the institution chaired by Félix Fellinger planned numerous expeditions to Aconcagua along four routes. One of these was the little frequented Southeast ridge, where the brothers Fernando and Juan Carlos Pierobon and Franco and Alberto Pizzolon traveled. This last named member observed something that caught his attention and said to his classmates “There’s grass!”, To which they responded “How? If we are more than five thousand meters high!”… This dialogue extracted from one of the books of Doctor Juan Schobinger, describes the precise moment of a very important archaeological find and that became one of the archeology milestones of high mountain. Alberto Pizzolon approached to see the “grass” and realized that it was yellow and black feathers that were part of a headdress of an Inca child offered in the mountain five hundred years ago, this was obviously known after the studies carried out .One of the most important things that happened during this expedition is, without a doubt, the excellent judgment that the expedition members had regarding the archaeological find. Many would have chosen to start digging and “see” what is in the place, almost like an instinct to play at being an explorer, archaeologist, discoverer of hidden treasures and so many fantasies that arise from the intrigue of “discovering” what is buried. However, they chose to return without altering Climbing Aconcaguaanything and see what solution could be given to that evidence that the erosive processes had partially unearthed in the most frequented mountain in our country. It was a serious matter, any expedition could arrive, see the same thing that the Mendoza mountaineers saw and simply start digging and that’s it, all lost. In Mendoza, together with the president of the CAM, they began to think and find out who was knowledgeable about these issues, so they came to Dr. Juan Schobinger. However, he was beginning his vacation on the Atlantic coast… The urgency of the case and the passion of the archaeologist made him give up the warm climate of the coast to organize an expedition to the high mountains. Fifteen days after the discovery, Schobinger together with a team of volunteers made up of G. Cabrera, Juan Carlos Pierobon, Alberto Pizzolon, J. Ferrari, Eduardo Guercio, Víctor Durán, Germán Bustos Herrera and Silvia Centeleghe, left in a van from Mendoza heading to Puente del Inca. They entered through Horcones and set up a camp at 3,800 meters, then another at 4,400 meters, they set up a base camp at 4,600 meters and finally, a high camp at 5,200 meters. The archaeological discovery of Aconcagua marked an important milestone in the archaeological investigations carried out in the high mountains of our mountain range. Why? Basically due to the intervention of specialists in the excavation, being able to recover first-hand information Aconcagua Guided Climb that would otherwise be lost. Our country, at that time, became the only one where archaeological excavations had been carried out in the mountains, first in San Juan in 1963 and this time in Aconcagua 22 years later. The laboratory studies carried out both on the body and on the objects that were part of the trousseau not only complemented the existing information on the two similar cases (Cerro El Plomo in Chile and El Toro in San Juan), but were also Aconcagua Hike innovative and complete studies, generating valuable information without precedent that contributed to the knowledge of the Inca culture and the ceremony of offering children, known as “capacocha”. On the other hand, it marks an important precedent in relation to the committed attitude of the mountaineers who, instead of “playing” at being archaeologists, gave discreet notice to the specialists, thus saving such a valuable heritage of our land. Our mountains in the Andes were not only what we see, but they were loaded with religious significance, they were “apus” or deities that protected the communities, endowing them with the main and vital resource, water. Our generation of mountaineers and the successive ones have the responsibility of being zealous custodians of these pre-Hispanic shrines and, although we know nothing about what happened there, it is enough to be aware that they were sacred places, that should be more than enough not to violate anything nor take souvenirs. The high-altitude sanctuaries depend on our sensitivity and commitment to their conservation, otherwise, there will only be some photos, writings and vague memories of something that was lost and you will complain that it will be recovered.