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By Delaere Christophe
$1,206
pledged of $23,312 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About

Lake Titicaca, located between Peru and Bolivia, is the highest navigable lake in the world (3810m altitude). Since 2012, archaeological operations conducted by the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) have made it possible to inventory and study 22 submerged sites. The current objective is to continue research but also to protect, conserve and provide access to this exceptional heritage with the support of UNESCO.

Lake Titicaca - Bolivia (T. Seguin © ULB)
Lake Titicaca - Bolivia (T. Seguin © ULB)

The desire to explore the lake Titicaca in an archaeological process is not a recent idea. As soon as new techniques appeared and were mastered, allowing access, to this hitherto inaccessible territory, numerous expeditions were conducted in the mythical waters of Lake Titicaca between 1954 and 2004, including that of Commander Jacques-Yves Cousteau in 1968 and that of Johan Reinhard of National Geographic between 1989 and 1992.

Lake Titicaca - Bolivia (T. Seguin © ULB)
Lake Titicaca - Bolivia (T. Seguin © ULB)

1- UNDERWATER ARCHEOLOGICAL EXCAVATION

archaeologist (T. Seguin © ULB)
archaeologist (T. Seguin © ULB)

In 2012, ULB will introduce for the first time the excavation techniques themselves in the lake sediment. Coupled with the implementation of predictive models, this strategy has made it possible to locate between 2012 and 2017 at least 20 new submerged archaeological sites and to discover more than 20,000 objects and fragments of objects ranging from the pre-Tiwanaku period (300-1150 AD) to the Inca period (1400-1532 AD). These operations represented more than 220 days of operations, 1609 hours of dives and more than 1350 dives. Among the submerged sites, we count offering sites, port sites, specialized workshop sites and human occupation sites (villages)... today submerged by the waters of the lake. Lake Titicaca contains an exceptional historical heritage of which only a tiny percentage has been studied since 1954.

The Titicaca team has already received a budget of 60.000 € from the Belgian cooperation (Enabel) but the project needs an additional 20.000 € to concretize the 2018 mission. The next expedition is planned for July 2018, and we need your support to continue underwater research!

Titicaca Project is organizing a historic ceremony: burying a "time capsule" in an Inca site immersed of the sacred lake for posterity. The capsule will be waterproof, environmentally friendly and can be kept in the lake for at least 100 years until the archaeologists of the future rediscover the capsule with the names and first names of the project participants.

archaeologist diver during the excavation (T. Seguin © ULB)
archaeologist diver during the excavation (T. Seguin © ULB)
archaeologist diver during the excavation (T. Seguin © ULB)
archaeologist diver during the excavation (T. Seguin © ULB)
Inspection and aspiration of sediment by an archaeologist diver (T. Seguin © ULB)
Inspection and aspiration of sediment by an archaeologist diver (T. Seguin © ULB)

2-EXCEPTIONAL DISCOVERIES  

The ULB last operations (2017) represented 83 days of navigation, 556 dives for 729h29 hours of dives, and allowed the discovery and recording of more than 10,447 pre-Hispanic artifacts over an excavation area of 109 m2. Of the 5 submerged archaeological sites discovered in 2017, the excavation of one site in particular - Sanka Putu - uncovered the remains of an old camp or those of a peripheral area of a village from the formative period (300-500 PCN) and Tiwanaku (500-800 PCN) now more than 5 m deep.

Archaeologist diver (T. Seguin © ULB)
Archaeologist diver (T. Seguin © ULB)
discovery of the tools of a preinca craftsman (T. Seguin © ULB)
discovery of the tools of a preinca craftsman (T. Seguin © ULB)

3-SONAR AND MAPPING PROSPECTING OPERATIONS

SONAR prospecting (T. Seguin © ULB)
SONAR prospecting (T. Seguin © ULB)

4-INVENTORY AND HERITAGE MANAGEMENT

recording of the excavation (T. Seguin © ULB)
recording of the excavation (T. Seguin © ULB)

5- THE TEAM

The CReA-Patrimoine team of archaeological divers, led by Dr. Christophe Delaere, is made up of 27 underwater heritage specialists (Belgium, Bolivia and France), and includes archaeologists, anthropologists, curators, engineers and technicians, all qualified to work at an altitude of 4,000m in exceptional working conditions.

meeting with the dive team (T. Seguin © ULB)
meeting with the dive team (T. Seguin © ULB)

6-WORK WITH LOCAL POPULATION

Our team works continuously and closely with the local population to acquire their knowledge of the sites but also the authorization of the community. All the objects updated during these excavations return exclusively to the Community no object is leaving the territory. Our research pursues the sole purpose of archaeological knowledge.

Sharing of knowledge with the local population (T. Seguin © ULB)
Sharing of knowledge with the local population (T. Seguin © ULB)

Students also participate in the excavations in order to acquire the knowledge of our team in the field of underwater archeology

Student at the water outlet (T.Seguin © ULB)
Student at the water outlet (T.Seguin © ULB)

7- THE MOVIE

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Risks and challenges

The expedition 2018 will be the eighth expedition organized by ULB since 2012. This is a mature project with good experience that ensures the success of underwater research.

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    Pledge €1 or more About $1.17

    Time capsule

    For 1 euro and more your name to posterity!!

    All donors will be rewarded by the presence of their name and surname in the time capsule that will be immersed in the bottom of the Titicaca sacred lake with an official ceremony in the presence of Shaman.

    This capsule will be buried on a place that our team will have identified as an archaeological site and will be for the archaeologist of the future.

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    Pledge €20 or more About $23

    Gift 1 + electronic postcard

    For 20 euros, each donor participates in the "time capsule project" and receives a souvenir of the ceremony (electronic postcard)

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    Pledge €35 or more About $41

    Gift 1 + 2 + certificate of attendance

    For 35 euros, each donor participates in the "time capsule project", receives a souvenir (electronic postcard)and certificate of attendance to this incredible project

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