Wednesday, July 12, 2006

So where am I going? Here's the fourth of five clues.

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Clue #4

Note: This is a clue that will require you to provide two answers - you'll see why when you get to the end of the text.

A conquistador reported in his account of the great Spanish invasion of South America in the 1500s, that while the masses of Andes Indians were small and dark, the members of the ruling Inca family were tall, had red hair, fair skin and thin noses.

Numerous theories abound as to how this fair skinned race of red haired humans came to South America including Thor Heyerdahl's hypothesis that a Nordic race swept across the Atlantic Ocean, settled and built cities and civilizations in South America, and then even spread out into the Pacific Islands where current day inhabitants of Easter Island also display a propensity for red hair, fair skin and thin noses.
On one leg of my trip, I will be going to a large burial site where reportedly as many as 400 red-haired mummies can be found, in situ, in shallow graves - perfectly preserved for centuries by dry, arid air. See the picture below. Each mummy is sitting in fetal position, facing east - archeologists surmise that this positioning was part of the death ritual of this civilization.


Located nearby to the cemetery is a high plains desert that is comprised of stones and not sand. I will be trekking to this desert to see a VERY famous collection of effigies....and there are hundreds of effigies. Although the prevailing theory is that these effigies were created more than 2000 years ago by an ancient civilization, there is also another theory that the creators were actually the race of red-haired mummies buried nearby.

The purpose of these effigies is still being debated today - with theories ranging from an agricultural calendar to markers for a subterranean waterflow to a giant astronomical calendar.

Name the cemetery that houses the red-haired mummies and the collection of desert effigies.