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  • Moby Doc
    Jan 2, 2003
      Sorry about previous post


      4Frank G. Ciampa

      INTRODUCTION NOTE: Following are excerpts from one of the articles I
      wrote, but were never published on my adventures and discoveries. I have
      changed or omitted some place names. This article represents only part of
      what we did. I have run out of options for properly documenting this find
      and getting scientists interested (archeologist and similar professionals
      are notorious for ignoring mere explorers, like myself). It is a shame
      that because of such politics the site is once again being lost to the
      jungle -- except for the various looters that now know of the place. I
      would appreciate any suggestions.

      Last summer (1995) I led a small expedition into Peru's Department of
      Amazonas. On June 19, after days of challenging and often treacherous
      exploring, we were rewarded with an astounding new discovery. We found
      ourselves standing on top of an ancient Chachapoyan temple, which was
      followed by many other ruins. These ruins had been hidden by five
      centuries of thick jungle growth.
      We discovered the ruins on a mountain known as T. C. (@ 06 xx' 14"
      S/78 xx' xx" W, elevation @ 3100+ meters), therefore I named the temple
      complex The Temple of T. C., This complex of ruins is on the xzxxxxx
      range, in the area of Gran xxxxx. They are now the highest known ruins in
      the area.
      The ruins belonged to the Chachapoyans who were a mysterious
      civilization that were conquered by the Incas around 1475 A.D. They were
      organized into semi-independent kingdoms that existed for at least a
      thousand years in the jungle covered Montana region of northeastern Peru.
      Although little is known about them, the region is stilled filled with the
      remains of their circular buildings, temples, and forts. Some people
      believe they were a very religious or mystical race. Spanish and Incan
      chroniclers described them physically as being tall Caucasians (the
      remains of their mummies verify this). Their vast jungle and mountain
      kingdoms virtually disappeared during the Spanish conquest of Peru and.
      I launched my Amazonas Expedition from the modern town of
      Chachapoyas. We then traveled to the friendly town of Colcamar and
      eventually to the village of xxxxxxxx, where we established our base camp.
      My partners were Francisco Seoane Peyon of Lima and Jon Muncy of XXXXX .
      Martin Xxxxxxx was our logistics chief. Behind the scenes in Lima we had
      the invaluable support of Francisco Seoane Weiss. All of us had been part
      of Gene Savoy's Gran Vilaya - El Dorado VI expedition the year prior.
      During that expedition there were certain areas I wanted to investigate,
      but the expedition's schedule did not permit me the opportunity, so I
      decided to launch my own expedition.
      Our primary objective was to climb a mountain known as xxxxxxxx. We
      hoped to find new ruins there. To get there, we would first have to
      climb over T.C., where we also intended to look for new ruins. T.C. was
      originally my primary objective, but circumstances made me shift it to my
      secondary objective. No one living had ever been up to T.c. or C. C., but
      we found a man in the village who was familiar with the surrounding area.
      His name was Constantino and he became a valuable part of our expedition.
      We began our quest early in the morning. We climbed past the well
      known ruins of xxxxx and took a break at a remote place called Nevado; a
      few farms had recently been established there. About a half hour later we
      arrived at what are known as the xxxxxx ruins. Parts of these ruins were
      discovered by two prior Gene Savoy expeditions. We expanded the discovery
      and reconfirmed the theory that the Xxxxxxx ruins are in fact connected to
      the Xxxxxxx ruins making about five kilometers (straight line distance) of
      solid ruins. Therefore the entire site or city should be called
      "Xxxxxxx," and not Xxxxxxx and Xxxxxxx. Eventually we left the Xxxxxxx
      site behind and headed up towards the unexplored mountain of T.c.. The
      terrain got tougher and the jungle thicker. We had to fight the jungle and
      the mountain for every step; two of our guides/machette men turn back
      exhausted, leaving us only Constantino. Finally, by late afternoon we
      achieved the summit of T.c..
      On the summit I immediately noticed the remnants of a square stone
      building. This is unusual for a Chachapoyan building, which are usually
      circular. We studied the small building briefly and then moved on. The
      vegetation was very dense and it was difficult to get a good view of these
      new ruins. Several meters later I happen to glance behind me and
      discovered that we had just walked over a huge rectangular structure.
      Initially we noted that it was about 8 feet high and over 60 feet long
      (later I would discover that it was much bigger). We also found many
      other ruins on T.c., but it was getting late and we had to move on to
      We climbed a short distance down from T.c.'s summit and then back up
      towards C.c.. The jungle became thicker and the terrain more treacherous.
      Often we had to climb using both hands and feet. We were also forced to
      leap across large cracks in the mountain. Finally after a freezing night
      spent at 3100 meters, we achieved the summit early the next morning
      (@3200+ meters).
      We found nothing on C.c. except a beautiful view. We were tired and
      ragged, but we maintained positive attitudes and our sense of humor. Of
      course it helped to know that we had a major discovery back on T.c..
      After looking around a bit we dragged ourselves back down to the village.
      We were exhausted and sore, but I knew we had to return to T.c. to better
      study and document the vast and mysterious ruins there.
      The next day, Francisco, Constantino and I started back up the
      Xxxxxxx range. This time we did things more sensible and established a
      camp at Nevado instead of racing to the top. After a good night's rest
      and a simple breakfast we climbed about two more hours to the Temple of
      We were able to get a better look at the temple after partially
      clearing away the vegetation that had covered it over the centuries. What
      we uncovered was a large platformed structure with at least three levels
      (with evidence of more levels). It is similar to a Chavin temple. The
      quality of the stone work is excellent and consists primarily of white
      quartz and a stone heavy with mica. Sections of the structure are built
      into solid rock. On the east end we initially found one circular building
      and on the south side three circular buildings; all nearly touching the
      second level from the top. Later, I would find much more. The pyramid
      and the circular buildings that are on its tiers are all part of what I
      call the temple complex. We also found other walls on the summit.
      Later in our expedition, we investigated three rock faces with
      ancient petroglyphs and one pillaged Chachapoyan cliff cemetery with
      interesting rock carvings and paintings (Caclic city of the dead). We
      continuously saw in this ancient artwork a horned man, like the Celtic god
      Cernunnos, and astronomical depictions. I also noted some "letters" that
      bore an amazing similarity to ancient Coptic. We may also have discovered
      the basic Chachapoyan unit of measurement (19 1/4" or 49cm).
      Despite two trips up T.c., there were still a lot of unanswered
      questions about the site. I knew I had to get back up there, but I also
      knew that I would need some support. Therefore I petitioned Gene Savoy's
      Andean Explorers Foundation. The AEF had already done a considerable
      amount of exploring in nearby Gran Vilaya. Mr. Savoy agreed to support my
      return to T.c. as part of an AEF expedition. Early last August we all met
      in Lima where Mr. Savoy divided the expedition into three parts. He would
      go south of Lima to do research and documentary work, and he directed my
      old partner, Francisco, to investigate an area near Gran Vilaya. I was to
      go back and better explore the Xxxxxxx and T.c. ruins.
      On 11 August I was back on T.c., where I spent the next few days
      improving the trail to the site and further exploring the ruins.
      Meanwhile, Francisco didn't make it to his object due to illness. I
      rendez-voused with him at a primitive farm near Vista Xxxxxx. While he
      was recovering, he made some amazing calculations concerning the temple's
      relationship to the cycles of the moon.
      Although the vegetation made it impossible to get a complete picture
      of the place, this is what my investigations determined: The site
      consists of approximately a quarter mile of ruins that run along a narrow
      summit; parts, if not all, of the summit are terraced or platformed.
      About 50 buildings were sighted, but I believe there are over 75. I found
      the pyramidal temple has six tiers with a possible seventh buried under
      dirt and debris. The Temple of T.c.'s top building is @ 17 1/2' X 18',
      the bottom platform, or sixth tier (counting from the top down), is an
      estimated 170'-190' and a couple of the tiers have stone circular
      buildings on them. The height of the levels vary with the condition they
      are in, but they are @8' high, the entire temple is @50+' high. Most of
      the eastern portions are under heavy debris and vegetation, but it is
      possible that portions of the eastern walls connect to other platforms on
      T.c.. There is also evidence that the temple's core is natural rock.
      There is no doubt in my mind that T.c., and more specifically the
      Temple of T.c., was a major religious or ceremonial site for the Gran
      Vilaya Culture. It is clearly not a site built for defense, although the
      mountain itself lends some natural defenses. The design of the site and
      its relation to other ruins in the area suggests that it was a religious
      center and home for priests and possibly nobles. They apparently wanted
      to shield the living areas from the other sites in the area, while
      maintaining a high visibility for the ceremonial areas. While I believe
      this site may be the Mecca, Vatican, or Chavin de Huantar4 of the
      Chachapoyans in this region, I do not know what religion they practiced.
      The layout of the structure and the investigations of others suggest that
      their religion involved either the sun, moon, and/or stars. Although,
      admittedly, this is all conjecture.
      Our accomplishments were far more than I expected, we were truly blessed -
      but now it is time for the anthropologists and archeologists to come to
      Amazonas in order to preserve and study these mysteries.
      Explorer, Frank G. Ciampa can be contacted at: framkc3912@...
      Feel free to pass this on to professional interested in studying the sight
      or publishing information about

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