Mountains and their sacredness have been universally acknowledged throughout history and all over the world. As an anthropologist who specializes on sacred mountains, the speaker will take the audience around the world exploring the diversity of cultural traditions and rituals devoted to the mountains, from the mighty Himalayan peaks, to the legendary volcanoes of Polynesia and from the snowcapped hills in Scandinavia to the mountaintop shrines of the Inca and the Aztec civilizations in Latin America. She will share her personal experience in the archaeological exploration of Andean peaks above 5000 meters, focusing on the studies at mount Llullaillaco, the highest archaeological site in the world, where she co-discovered three perfectly preserved Inca ice mummies, in an expedition funded by the National Geographic Society.

About the speaker :

Dr. Constanza Ceruti is the only female Andean high altitude archaeologist in the world. She has climbed over 100 mountains above 5000 meters to study mountaintop shrines of the Inca civilization, having co-discovered the best preserved frozen mummies at 6739 meters, on the summit of volcano Llullaillaco. Graduated from the University of Buenos Aires, and with a Ph.D. at University of Cuyo, she is currently a Scientific Investigator of the National Council for the Scientific Research in Argentina and a Professor of Inca Archaeology at Catholic University of Salta. She is the author of nine books and more than eighty academic publications, and she has lectured and traveled throughout the five continents. She has been awarded the Gold Medal of the University of Buenos Aires and the Gold Condor of the Argentine Army; in addition to being distinguished as an Emerging Explorer of the National Geographic Society (and one of the five awardees representing this institution at the Prince of Asturias Ceremony). In 2009 she was an invited speaker at the TED global conference in Oxford and the Women´s Forum for the Economy and Society in Deauville (France).