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figure head Satellite Dispatch 9/18/96
More Artefacts Found!
Written and Photographed By Liesl Clark

"Johan! Aqui!" This became the cry of the day when not just one but seven 500-year-old sacred Inca artefacts were uncovered on Sara Sara's summit. Archaeology student, Walter Diaz, found a circular area high on one of Sara Sara's rock faces and began digging. What tipped him off was evidence of burnt material and bits of textile on the surface. Upon exploring further, Walter came upon a 6-inch silver female statue wrapped in textiles and a smaller male statue.

figure head Within 20 minutes a gold llama was found along with a female figurine carved out of spondyllus shell, a spiny oyster shell from the coast of Ecuador much prized by the Inca. A spondyllus llama carving and a silver llama were then found, perfectly preserved.

figure head Early the next morning one more offering was found, a gold male statuette, totalling a record 7 artefacts found in one offering place.

Pleased with the findings, Johan Reinhard explains, "These are classic Cuzco designs. The question is whether these offerings were made during a sacrificial burial or soon after. According to Inca tradition, these mountains needed to be fed constantly, and sacred sites like this became important places to make offerings."

For BBC producer Tim Haines, the find was much needed for morale: "Having found nothing for 2 days, suddenly we found a few things and then everything started coming. "Johan!" was being shouted from all directions. We only have one camera, so it was tough covering all of the finds. These discoveries have certainly given us all a boost."

Will a mummy be found beneath these artefacts? Log on for our next update! Also check out Liesl's answers to your E-Mail

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