In the summer of 2014 a group of modern day explorers will travel deep into the heart of Manu in an expedition to investigate the area known as Pantiacolla. Originally set for 2013, but unfortunately delayed due to lack of funding, the group has successfully completed a recce (or reconnaissance) trip and produced a video pitch that you can watch above.
The Pantiacolla region within the Manu Biosphere Reserve is a fascinating and little explored corner of our planet. In the 1400s the Inca Empire attempted to invade the areas of rainforest to the east of Cuzco. In what would be a two year campaign down the Madre de Dios River, the Incas penetrated the heart of the Pantiacolla region. Even today we do not know the full extent to which the Empire reached into the area and this is something the expedition wants to address.
The Incas may have built stone fortifications or outposts in this frontier of their territory – as was so common in the style of Inca conquests within the 15th and early 16th Century. The Pantiacolla hill range, is a good example of where any such possible Inca forts would exist; it is ideally positioned to control traffic through the natural key point of transit – the Rio Madre de Dios.
The expedition will also examine the Petroglyphs of Pusharo, a local rock art site which has so far defied interpretation. Then they will trek deeper into the jungle to investigate local stories of ruins said to exist within the region. Finally they will travel to the mysterious site of Mameria to undertake one of the first ever archaeological assessments of the site.
The team consists of six people, including several scientists and historical experts, as well as the expedition leader Andrew Nicol.
In his words:
“The expedition captures the essence of pure exploration, and is one of the few scientific investigations into this part of the Peruvian Amazon to date. In an age where the “blanks of the map” seemed to be filled, it is a chance to travel the path less trodden and to undertake a discovery of the archaeological and historical profile of the region; to travel beyond the horizon to see what lies beyond.”