Ph.D. Constanza Ceruti
Constanza Ceruti is an anthropologist and mountaineer who lives in Salta (northwest Argentina). Born in Buenos Aires in 197, she has resided in Argentina throughout her life.
She is a Scientific Investigator of the National Council for the Scientific Research (CONICET) in Argentina and a Professor of Inca Archaeology at the Catholic University of Salta. She is the founder and ad-honorarium director of the Institute of High Mountain Research at the same University. She is also a Distinguished Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of West Georgia and she has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate at the Moravian College in New York.
In 1996 she graduated as an anthropologist with perfect grades and was awarded the Gold Medal of the University of Buenos Aires.
In 2001 she earned her Ph.D. at University of Cuyo in Mendoza.
She is a pioneer in the field of high-altitude archaeology, studying Inca ceremonial centers on the summits of Andean peaks above 6000 meters. For more than two decades she has been the only woman in this particularly difficult and dangerous field, among a handful of colleagues dedicated to this unique line of research worldwide.
She has climbed over 100 mountains above 5000 meters within the context of systematic archaeological research. She has explored mountains in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Mexico and Nepal. Most of her field research was undertaken in mountains that had not been previously explored by archaeologists.
In 1997 and 1998 she climbed successfully to the top of Aconcagua (6.962 meters), the highest mountain in the western hemisphere and out of the Himalayas. In 1999 she reached the summit of Mt. Pissis (6.882 m) one of the two highest volcanoes in the world.
In 1999 she codirected an expedition to volcano Llullaillaco (6739 m), the site of the highest archaeological work ever undertaken. Constanza Ceruti and Johan Reinhard co-discovered three of the best preserved mummies in the world, together with several gold and silver statues and sumptuary objects of typical Inca style, during their expedition, which was funded by the National Geographic Society.
In 2000 she received the Gold Condor mountaineering award, the most important award by the National Army of Argentina, for the first time given to a woman. In 1997 she had received the “best climber of the year” award by the government of Salta.
In 2000 she founded an Institute of High Mountain Research at the Catholic University of Salta. For fifteen years she has been an ad-honorarium Director of this institution, in which the Llullaillaco mummies were scientifically studied for six years after their discovery.
In 2005 she became an Emerging Explorer of the National Geographic Society.
In 2006 she was honored at the Prince of Asturias Award Ceremony, when the Communication and Humanities Award was given to the National Geographic Society.
In 2007 she received the Courage Award from the Wings Worldquest, an association that celebrates the accomplishments of women explorers. In 2011 she was invited to join the Society of Woman Geographers. Since 2000 she has been a Fellow of the Explorers Club. In 2013 she was selected to be a Member of the Society of Woman Geographers
In 2008 she received an award for her Academic Vocation in Buenos Aires.
In 2009 she was a TED fellow and invited speaker at the TED global meeting in Oxford (England), as well as a Rising Talent and invited speaker at the Women´s Forum for the Economy and Society in Deauville (France).
In 2010 she was honored among the most outstanding women in Salta.
In 2011 she received the Silver Clover award from the Rotary Club in Buenos Aires and she was honored by the authorities of the Basque Country in Spain.
In 2014 she received an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from the Moravian College in Pennsylvania.
She is the author of more than one hundred scientific publications, including eighteen books (see list attached).
In addition to participating in dozens of congresses and conferences worldwide, she has been specially invited to lecture about her research at the University of Harvard (Boston), University of Richmond (Virginia), University of Nevada (Las Vegas), University of California (Los Angeles), Museum of Natural History (San Diego), Gilcrease Museum (Tulsa), National Academy of Geography in Argentina (Buenos Aires), Australian National University (Canberra), Museum of Man in Paris (France), Armstrong Atlantic State University (Savannah), Valdosta State University (Georgia), Kenesaw State University (Georgia), Georgia State University (Atlanta), University of North Georgia (Dahlonega), University of Florida (Miami), University of Barcelona (Spain), University of Bradford (UK), and the Norwegian universities of Oslo, Tromso and Trondheim, among other prestigious academic and scientific institutions.
She has conducted research on sacred mountains and world´s religions in the Nepal Himalayas, India, Thailand, Australia, Polynesia, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Greece, Norway, Italy, France, Spain, Greenland, Canada, Alaska, United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru and Chile.
Ceruti´s contributions in the fields of high altitude archaeology and the anthropology of sacred mountains have had significant impact on different anthropological disciplines including Inca archaeology, landscape archaeology, Andean studies, ethnoarchaeology and ethnohistory and the recently developed field of glacial archaeology.