jueves, 24 de septiembre de 2009

Ancient Cultures along the Qhapaq Ñan in Loja, Ecuador

Before the Incas conquered the region that today forms the north of Peru and the south of Ecuador this land was inhabited for centuries by the people of the Calvas tribe who were part of the Paltas Nation. During our last expedition we found two archaeological sites of the Paltas in the Sabanilla Mountains. Our next expedition in October 2009 has the goal to find further remains of this lost culture to prove not only the existence of the Calvas/Paltas in this region but also to show that they formed a highly organized culture, similar to other cultures of this period.
We will leave Quito on October 2nd travelling south on the Pan-American Highway to Loja and on to San Antonio de las Aradas which will be again our starting point. We plan to be about 8 days in the mountains and if our theories are correct, we should find at least one more site.
Currently we are preparing our equipment. Though I am jogging twice a week in La Carolina Park here in Quito at ca. 2850m altitude I will climb one of the surrounding mountains this weekend in order to further improve my acclimatization as the expedition will lead us into altitudes between 3200m to 3600m. After the expedition we are going to visit several sites along the Ecuadorian route of the Qhapaq Ñan to learn more about the ancient cultures in Ecuador that lived here before the Incas.