Author of the Month

First report: Inca Gold
In search of the ultimate sacred treasure

By Javier Sierra

Politics, Tenacity and Fate

When in March of 1999, in Zaragoza, Anselm Pi saw one of the photographs that we took during that meeting with Father Gamarra, who today is assigned to Arequipa, a bright sparkle came to his eyes. "This is the piece that I lacked." he suspected "Now we have something with which to begin our investigation!"

A few months later, Anselm left for Lima to negotiate with the National Institute of Culture, the palace of Government and Father Gamarra to arrange the conditions for the eventual exploration beneath the Monastery of Santo Domingo in search of the Inca tunnel. The idea appealed to the Dominicans but they worried that whatever eventual archaeological discoveries were found would serve as an excuse for the political authorities to expropriate their land and leave them without their monastery that they had been occupying for close to five centuries. The question was extremely delicate. In fact, it wasn't resolved until well into the year 2000 when the State guaranteed the Dominicans that their lands would not be expropriated; instead, the concession was made that they would have a museum inside the area where all the artifacts and archaeological relics that were found would be on display permanently.

Anselm moved quickly. His project, which included "using teledetection studies to determine how the tunnel runs and completing an archaeological survey of its entrance" interested a financier from Texas, Michael Galvis, who didn't hesitate to advance $760,000, the cost of getting started with what would soon come to be know as the Koricancha Project.

Thus, with the help of official permits and financial solvency, Anselm decided to organize his work team with the name Bohic Ruz Explorer, a group comprised of Spaniards, Peruvians, and Chileans, who began working around the middle of August last year. The team integrated two archaeologists, a physicist, a geographer, a geologist, two photographers, a pilot and various specialists in the field of speleology and high-risk exploration, so there would, in their hands, be no delay in achieving first-rate results.

Copyright © 2001 Javier Sierra

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