OPEC bulletin 2–3/14
search for themummyofthe lastIncaemperor, Atahualpa,
as well as the lost gold associated with him.
Based on information provided by an Ecuadorian
explorer, who has been a guide in the region for over a
decade, French-Americanexplorer andwebentrepreneur,
Benoit Duverneuil, launched an expedition to the area in
April–May 2013, but visual evidence was only gathered
with the help of British author Bruce Fenton late in the
Natural formation
“This is a massive structure and literally in the middle
of nowhere,” stated Duverneuil. “It looks like a buried
pyramid,” he said, adding that it did not seem to be a
true pyramid because there was no evidence of it having
four sides, though many of the rocks had sharp edges as
though shaped by human hands.
The two geologists who accompanied the explorers
concluded that the site was a natural formation, said
Duverneuil, adding: “That said, a natural formation could
have been used by a culture for a specific purpose.”
The archaeologists also confirmed that there was a
perfectlyperpendicular Inca road right in front of the site,
according to Duverneuil. “This is really intriguing.”
The site, over 2,500metres high, in a ‘cloud
forest’, is inside the Llanganates National
Park, home to extremely inhospitable
landscape and weather. One of the most
remote regions in the world, it features
a harsh, rainy, cold climate most of the
year. The area is comprised mainly of
Andean and Amazonian cloud forests
and jungles, along with deep valleys,
grand waterfalls, mysterious lakes, vol-
canoes and treacherous rivers.
The trek to the ruins is strenuous; the
group had to travel over three mountains and
several rivers to reach the site, where theyarrived
covered with bites and cuts.
“We know it is an unusual natural formation, for sure.
We had doubt about the central part of the site since the
shape of the stone blocks is so perfect and several layers
of stones seem to be perfectly aligned with each other,”
noted Duverneuil.
“There has been a lot of buzz around the assumption
that it could be connected to the story of Atahualpa,” he
added. “There aremany contradictions in textswrittenby
the chroniclers about the death of Atahualpa and much
the top …” where many artefacts have been found. On
the left side is a powerful waterfall. The approximately
80-metre tall by 80-m wide structure, constructed from
hundreds of two-ton stone blocks, was uncovered by the
group at the end of December last year.
The expedition party, including members of a non-
profit research group called LostIncaGold, is planning to
lead several trips to the region of the Llanganates. They
want to investigate the story of the Valerde’s Derrotero,
1...,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34 36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,...68