Constanza Ceruti

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Constanza Ceruti
Born (1973-01-11) 11 January 1973 (age 46)
Buenos Aires
AwardsGolden Condor Honoris Causa
Academic background
Alma materNational University of Cuyo
InfluencesJohan Reinhard
Academic work
InstitutionsInstitute of High Mountain Investigations
Main interestsArchaeology

María Constanza Ceruti (born 11 January 1973 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) is an Argentinian high-altitude archaeologist and anthropologist who has done more than 80 field surveys, most of them with National Geographic teams in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. She specializes in excavating Inca Empire ceremonial centers on the summits of Andean mountains.[1][2] Her most important finding are the Llullaillaco Mummies, the best preserved mummies in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records. She's the only archaeologist specialized in the field of High Mountains. She's also a researcher in the CONICET, director of the Institute of High Mountain Research at the Catholic University of Salta and teacher of a class that bears her name: Sacred Mountains - Constanza Ceruti.


Born in the city of Buenos Aires on 11 January 1973, she studied anthropology in the University of Buenos Aires, earning the highest average.[3] In October 2001 she got her doctorate cum laude at the National University of Cuyo, being the first woman archeologist specialized in High Mountains Archeology. She is a member of diverse scientific societies including the Argentinian Society of Anthropology, the Association of Professional Archeologists of Argentina, the Society of Woman Geographers and the Explorers Club from New York.

She has climbed more than a hundred mountains reaching over 5000 m. during her research. This has resulted in more than a hundred scientific papers and more than twenty books. She climbed the Aconcagua (6962 m) on two occasions.

Her most important ascents include the Aconcagua in 1996 and 1997, the Pissis volcano (6792 m), the Llullaillaco volcano in 1999, the pico Meléndez and the snow-capped Cachi and Quehuar en 1996 and 1999.

She has published four books on High Mountain archeology in the Andes, which earned her the Golden Condor Honoris Causa from the Army of Argentina on 5 August 2000, the day of the mountaineer.


In 1995 she performed an archaeological excavation at an altitude of more than 5.800 meters with Johan Reinhard on the higher slopes of the volcano Misti in Arequipa, Peru.[4] The remains of six human sacrifices older than 500 years of antiquity were discovered. Since 1995, she has performed more than eighty excavations in the Andes. In 1999 she discovered with a team of the National Geographic, at an altitude of almost 7.000 meters, the bodies of three Incan children on the slopes of the volcano Llullaillaco.[5][6][7] These mummies are considered as ones of the mummies better preserved of the world.[8][9]

On 5 August 2000, the Argentinian Army, awarded her its highest mountain distinction, the Golden Condor Honoris Causa, for her high altitude experience with over 100 ascents above 5000 meters.[3] She was nominated for woman of year in Argentina in 2000.[10]

In October 2001, she obtained her PhD of the National University of Cuyo, turning her into the first archaeologist specialised in high altitude archaeology. At present she acts are director ad-honorem of the Institute of High Mountain Investigations of the Catholic University of Salta, and as head of conservation of the museums of the city of Salta.[1][8]

In 2007, she received a 2007 WINGS Women of Discovery Award.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Constanza Ceruti, Anthropologist/Archaeologist". National Geographic. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  2. ^ Ceruti, María Constanza (1999). Cumbres sagradas del noroeste argentino: avances en arqueología de alta montaña y etnoarqueología de santuarios de altura andinos (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Editorial Universitaria de Buenos Aires. EUDEBA. ISBN 9502310047.
  3. ^ a b "Constanza Ceruti". WINGS WorldQuest. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  4. ^ Reinhard, Johan; Ceruti, María Constanza (2010). Inca rituals and sacred mountains: a study of the world's highest archaeological sites. Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, University of California, Los Angeles. ISBN 9781931745765.
  5. ^ Ceruti, María Constanza (2003). Llullaillaco: sacrificios y ofrendas en un santuario Inca de alta montaña (in Spanish). Salta, Argentina: Ediciones Universidad Católica de Salta. ISBN 9506230145.
  6. ^ Ceruti, María Constanza (January 2013). "Sacred Ice Melting Away: Lessons from the impact of climate change on Andean cultural heritage" (PDF). Journal of Sustainability Education. 4. ISSN 2151-7452.
  7. ^ Ceruti, Maria Constanza (2015). "Frozen Mummies from Andean Mountaintop Shrines: Bioarchaeology and Ethnohistory of Inca Human Sacrifice". BioMed Research International. 2015. doi:10.1155/2015/439428. ISSN 2314-6133. PMC 4543117. PMID 26345378.
  8. ^ a b Reinhard, Johan; Ceruti, Constanza (13 March 2002). "Arqueología de Alta Montaña - Introducción". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  9. ^ "Love Your Mummy". Retrieved 2015-11-07. Constanza Ceruti and Johan Reinhard discover one of the best preserved Incan mummies in the world.
  10. ^ "Armstrong Presents an International Scholar-in-Residence Symposium; Dr. Constanza Ceruti to Speak | PRLog". Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  11. ^ "Fellows". WINGS WorldQuest. Retrieved 2015-11-07.

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