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