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Argentinean anthropologist, mountaineer, and National Geographic explorer Constanza Ceruti studies Inca ceremonial centers on the summits of the highest Andean peaks. She has climbed more than 100 mountains above 17,000 feet and has explored sacred mountains in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. In 1999 she co-directed a National Geographic-sponsored expedition with Johan Reinhard. Together, they discovered three of the best preserved mummies ever found on a 22,100-foot summit—the Llullaillaco children—together with several gold and silver statues and sumptuary objects of typical Inca style. "When we found the mummies," says Constanza, "I remember a profound silence falling over the group. It is so humbling to look into the eyes of another human being from half a millennium ago." Constanza has won numerous awards for her work, including the National Army of Argentina’s Gold Condor in Mountaineering, the Courage Award from Wings Worldquest (which celebrates the accomplishments of female explorers), the Gold Medal of the International Society of Woman Geographers, and recognition in 2005 as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. She’s been a TED Fellow and an invited speaker at the TEDGlobal meeting in Oxford, and was honored in 2006 at the Prince of Asturias Award ceremony, when National Geographic received the Communication and Humanities award. The author of more than 100 scientific publications and 20 books, she brings together her lifelong love of Patagonia and her vast experience in the study of sacred mountains to offer unique views about the importance of indigenous cultures in this part of the world.