Constanza Ceruti

Dr. Constanza Ceruti, the first high-altitude woman archaeologist in history, is also a pioneer in the anthropological study of sacred mountains around the world. She is the author of more than 25 books and 200 publications. Many of her scientific papers can be found here on ResearchGate, including the results of research undertaken on Mount Llullaillaco (6,739 m/22,109 ft), which has the world’s highest archaeological site, where she discovered three of the world’s best-preserved mummies, now called “the Children of Llullaillaco,” and Inca-style sumptuary objects. She has climbed to the summit of more than 100 mountains over 16,500 feet (5,000 meters) and studied sacred mountain spaces in over 20 countries. Her impact crosses many disciplines, including Inca archaeology, Andean studies, ethnohistory, landscape archaeology, conservation of cultural and natural heritage, religious studies, tourism, glacial archaeology, and high altitude archaeology.

She has received many honors and awards for her work, including an Emerging Explorer Award from the National Geographic Society (2005), an honorary PhD from the Moravian College of Pennsylvania (2014), and a Gold Medal from the International Society of Women Geographers (2017). She gave a TED talk in 2009 on Cities Past and Future. She is the youngest member of the National Academy of Sciences (ANCBA) and a scientific investigator for the National Council for Scientific Research (CONICET) in Argentina. She is a professor of anthropology at the Catholic University of Salta (UCASAL) in Salta, Argentina, where she holds the Constanza Ceruti Honorary Chair in Sacred Mountains.

Born: 1973

Hometown: Salta, Argentina Education: Ph.D. in Anthropology Occupation: High-altitude archaeologist

Expeditions: Over 100 ascents to mountain summits above 17,000 ft. in the Andes of South America, as well as climbs of mountains in Mexico, Nepal, and Greece.

Favorite Place to Be: Near a sacred mountain

Best Discovery: In northern Argentina, discovering three almost perfectly preserved Incan frozen mummies – found at 22,200 ft. on the summit of Mount Llullaillaco

Favorite Item in the Field: Chocolates

Personal Heroes: My parents, for everything I have learned from them, and high-altitude archaeologist Dr. Johan Reinhard

Hobbies: Photography, poetry, learning indigenous languages

Advice: Climb with a humble heart