(this material is an excerpt from the book "The Message of the Stones", by Dr. Javier Cabrera)
THE MYSTERY OF OCUCAJE
The checkered history of the Acambaro collection is not unlike the history of the Engraved Stones of Ica, the gliptoliths. Skepticism among archeologists regarding the authenticity of the Acambaro pieces lasted twenty years, and the same skepticism has animated Peruvian archeologists where the gliptoliths are concerned. The difference between the Acambaro and Ica cases is that in the latter case the doubt has not yet been dispelled. Since 1961 when, according to the Peruvian scholar Herman Buse, the engraved stones first appeared in Ocucaje, constant efforts have been made, in vain, to enlist the help of Peruvian archeologists in verifying the authenticity of the stones. First to try were the Soldi brothers, who put together the first collection of stones bought from the huaqueros of Ocucaje. Even though the Soldis mistakenly thought the stones were made by the Incas, this does not diminish the persistence with which they requested official tests to prove what they were already sure of: that the stones were not of recent manufacture. Herman Buse reports in his 1965 book (16) that one of the brothers Pablo - said that the existence of a thick layer of saltpeter covering the specimens could not be explained except by the passage of considerable time, and he added that the huaqueros who had found the stones were willing to take archeologists to the places were they had been discovered, to show them that this was not a hoax. Buse says that the other brother Carlos - could not believe that anyone would have gone to the trouble to manufacture the stones only to sell them at the ridiculously low prices which the Soldis had paid. But when Peruvians archeologists heard of the Soldi collection, they immediately assumed a posture of incredulity, and they would not accompany the huaqueros to the excavations. Several years later, in 1966, Santiago Agurto Calvo felt the need to verify the authenticity of the stones that kept appearing in Ica, and he began to carry out excavations, first on his own and later in the company of the archeologist Alejandro Pezzia Assereto, director of the Museo Regional of Ica. Agurto Calvo had a collection of several hundred stones which he had put to test in the laboratories of the Faculty of Mining at the Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria.
As we saw in Chapter One, these tests revealed that the stones came from lava layers dating from the Mesozoic era (frau 230 to 63 ruillion years ago), and one feature was the relative softness of the stones surface. Based on this characteristic, Agurto Calvo speculated that the stones may have come from the time of the Incas or Pre-Incas, since the tools used by these cultures would have been capable of executing the engravings on this type of stone. The excavations he made in Pre-Incas graves finally bore fruit: he found two samples, similar to those that made up his collection. This convinced him that there was no doubt as to the authenticity of the stones, and he declared them to be ancient, by virtue of having found specimens next to known remains and ceramics belonging to Pre-Inca man. The newspaper article in which Agurto Calvo reported his labors and his discovery concluded with these words: "To the fundamental question - are they false, or are they real? - which it has been my fortune to be able to answer, other questions flow which are equally provocative but even more difficult to answer. I am certain that the scholars and archeologists of the nation will give them prompt attention which will satisfy our curiosity and enrich the history and culture of Peru" (17). Two years later, in 1968, the archeologist Pezzia Assereto, who had accompanied Agurto Calvo, published a book on the archeology of the province of Ica, in which he makes note of the discovery: "Agurto was able after several attempts to find an engraved stone inside a tomb in the sector of Toma Luz of the Hacienda Callango del Valle in Ica on 20 August 1966... After informing the Museo Regional of Ica of such an important find, Agurto and I made another excavation on 11 September of the same year, in the hill called Uhle of the sector of La Banda in the Hacienda Ocucaje, and we found for the first time an engraved stone inside a tomb of the Paracas culture, a thing I was not expecting, but which proved, by association, the authenticity of these artifacts" (18).
Despite the fact that the Engraved Stones of Ica had been proven to be authentic archeological specimens, the cultural authorities of the central government remained indifferent. The discovery of Agurto Calvo alone should have been sufficient not only for the order to go out that the stones in existing collections be studied immediately, and not only that excavations in search of new specimens should be undertaken, but also that an end should be put to the illegal commerce in the stones. But none of this was done. Not even the collection of Carlos Soldi was studied, and on his death it passed to the Museo Regional of Ica, according to his wishes. It was at this time that I began to dedicate myself to increasing the stones in my own collection, buying specimens from some other collectors in Ica from whom I had acquired the stones I already possessed - and later - them from the huaqueros of Ocucaje.
In 1972 Herman Buse again brought up the issue of the engraved stones, at a moment when many national and foreign archeologists were convening in Lima at the First Congress of Andean Archeology. In an article published in the Lima daily El Comercio, written with the obvious purpose of pointing out to the participants in the Congress their obligation to give an official opinion on the stones in light of the absence of such an opinion so far, Buse discusses the unofficial opinions which had been circulating regarding the archeological validity of the stones. He points to the incredulity of the archeologists, and marshals the arguments of those who believe in the authenticity of the stones, and of those who do not. Buse casts doubt on the latter arguments: "The Cabrera collection, which is on display in the city of Ica, is composed of no fewer than 10,000 of these stones. 10,000 falsifications? Many of them purchased for only a couple of soles? Can such a price be explained given the delicate, complicated, difficult work involved?" (19). He adds: "Other responsible men believe in them, in their legitimacy and certifiable antiquity. For this reason it seems strange that professional archeologists reject theme out of hand." But the experts participating in the Congress paid no attention to Buse, and once more we see the inexplicable lack of interest on the part of archeologists in studying the stones and determining their authenticity.
In December 1974 a Lima daily (20) published a notice from Paris of a recent book by the Frenchman Robert Charroux, a well-known scholar and tireless student of ancient man's life on earth. Charroux, convinced that the origin of die earth is much earlier than the date set by most scientists, devotes a large part of his book to the Engraved Stones of Ica, which he considers the oldest evidence of man's existence on earth. Charroux believes that the Engraved Stones may come from one of the secret sanctuaries where the men who lived on the mysterious, vanished continent of Atlantis left testimonials to their highly sophisticated civilization. The information on the Ica Stones in Charroux's book (21) he gathered on two visits to my museum, in April 1973 and in March 1974. As I have always wanted above all for the Ica Stones to be studied, my museum has had many visitors. In the case of this illustrious scholar - who on his second visit brought along his editor Robert Laffont, of the prestigious house of the sane name, and another French scholar, Francis Maziere - I am convinced that this is one of the most exceptional visitors my museum has ever had.
The same newspaper that had printed the notice of Charroux's book the next day began a six-part series of articles on the Engraved Stones of Ica, (22) based on a long interview that I had given a group of reporters sent by the paper a few days before.
But twenty-two days later the Lima magazine Mundial published a long article seeking to demonstrate that the engraved stones are falsifications. Thirteen of the seventy-two pages in this issue were devoted to the task (23). The article claims that the engraved stones in my museum are not old, but were carved by two peasants who live in the region of Ocucaje: Basilio Uchuya and Irma Gutierrez de Aparcana. The article reports that a group of reporters from the magazine went to the city of Ica and then to Ocucaje they asked the lieutenant governor where Basilio and Irma might be found. 'We gave him the names we had been given in Ica", say the authors. Later they spoke with Basilio Uchuya's wife, who told them: "Several days ago my husband and Senora Aparcana were taken away by the PIP (24) to rake a statement as to whether the stones are false or real. Whether they carved them or found them. My husband told them that all of the stones he sold to Dr. Cabrera he had carved himself. That he hadn't dug them up. In the first chapter of this book, I explained what the word "huaquero" means: one who secretly digs in search of archeological treasures, an activity severely punishable by law; anyone who is caught, goes to jail. It is easy to picture the situation in which Basilio Uchuya and Irma Gutierrez de Aparcana found themselves, facing the question posed by the police as to whether the stone were real or not. To say they were legitimate meant having to admit they had dug them up, obviously from some archeological site, that is, having to admit that they were huaqueros. It is logical that they should answer that they themselves fabricated the stones. This way they can not only avoid jail, sparing themselves and their numerous families (the article says that each has eight children), but can also continue to sell the stones, which they could not do if they admitted that the stones were part of the national patrimony.
The article adds that Irma Gutierrez de Aparcana told the reporters that she and Basilio Uchuya carved the stones and that most of those she carved had been sold to Cabrera Darquea, but that for quite some time she had not sold any to him; the rest were purchased by tourists who came to Ocucaje looking for artifacts. Later, the article stated that Basilio Uchuya told reporters that he also carved stones and sold them to Cabrera Darquea. When Basilio Uchuya was asked whether he and Irma Gutierrez de Aparcana also made the stones sold to tourists, which were still on the market in Ica, lie responded: "Yes. We made all of them ourselves". Irma Gutierrez de Aparcana, according to the article, showed reporters where she obtained the stones to carve. "The workable stone cane from a promontory some 50 meters high, situated about 2 kilometers from her house", the article read. "On our arrival at the site we saw two perforations. Each one was about two meters in diameter and one meter deep, more or less. After half an hour with a pickax, Irma Gutierrez de Aparcana was able to make a hole one meter in diameter and some 50 centimeters deep, at which point she said, "Here's one". It was a stone weighing about 500 grams, about the size of a mandarin orange. "This is all?” we asked. “I already told you that they are getting hard to find”, she said, wiping the sweat from her brow. Now, my collection at the museum numbers 11,000. In the private collections I have seen - even before any recent new acquisitions - there are no less than another 10,000. If we add to this number the specimens that, according to the article, have been sold to tourists and those that still circulate in Ica, as well as those that have left the country - to judge by the declarations of the exporter Marino T. Carcelan, who claims to have exported some 600 stones since 1973 (25) and to judge by a local Ica newspaper article which said in 1973 that it was well-known that many stones had found their way to the U.S. (26) we can estimate that in total 50,000 engraved stones of Ocucaje have been sold. Note in this connection that the place where Irma Gutierrez de Aparcana says she obtained the stone had two small cavities, not counting the one she made in the presence of the reporters. If her statements are correct and she actually carved the immense number of stones she claims to have done, where did she get them? Not, obviously, from these small cavities. I alone possess 11,000 specimens.
To extract merely this quantity would have required a monumental excavation on the order of open pit mines. Moreover, if we remember the size of the stone she extracted after one-half hour of work in front of the reporters - the size of a small orange - meanwhile admitting that the stones were scarce, how can she explain not only the fact that there are 11,000 in my collection, but also the fact that most of mine are hundreds and even thousands of tines bigger than this rock? The article does not report on where Basilio Uchuya supposedly got his stones. But since Basilio Uchuya and Irma Gutierrez de Aparcana declare themselves, according to the article, to be the sole manufacturers of the Engraved Stones of Ica, we can assume that Basilio Uchuya got his stones from the same outcropping that Irma Gutierrez de Aparcana used. Thus my objections to Irma Gutierrez de Aparcana's story hold also for Basilio Uchuya's case. And if both of them were getting the stones from the same place, there is all the more reason to expect that the promontory should have an immense crater, not the two small cavities seen by the reporters.
The article repeats other statements made by Irma Gutierrez de Aparcana and Basilio Uchuya. She states that when she was dedicated full-time to the manufacture of the stones she was producing sane 20-25 pieces the size of an orange each week; Basilio Uchuya says that he began to engrave stones ten years ago, and that in the last two years he hadn't made any, and for that reason had not sold any to Cabrera Darquea. I want to respond to these declarations. If what Irma Gutierrez de Aparcana says were true, she would have been producing an average of three stones per day. Since the article says nothing about the rate of production of Basilio Uchuya, I will assume that he worked at about the same speed. So together they were manufacturing six pieces daily. Since they claim to be the makers of all the engraved stones that left Ocucaje, that is, the makers not only of my stones but of those bought by tourists, those that continue to be sold in Ica, those in the hands of other collectors since 1961, and those that have been exported, we can calculate that if each of them made 25,000 stones, they would have needed twenty-three years to complete the task. Basilio Uchuya says he began engraving ten years before the date of the article, that is, in 1965. But he adds that he had ceased his activity two years earlier, which leaves him eight years of
work. This is, of course, quite incompatible with the twenty-three years needed to make his share of the stones. Twenty-three years before would have been 1950, eleven years before, according to the Soldi brothers and Herman Buse, the stones began to appear, another incompatibility. For Irma Gutierrez de Aparcana, who continued to make the stones after Basilio Uchuya quit, twenty-three years of labor would have put her starting date at 1952, also incompatible with the facts of the appearance of the stones.
The incongruities of the declarations given by both individuals are further revealed if we recall that the stones Irma Gutierrez de Aparcana says she made and sold to me were the size of an orange. One trip to my Museum makes clear what I have already mentioned: the majority of the engraved stones that I possess are much larger, some hundreds and some thousands of times larger.
Referring to the collection of engraved stones of Santiago Agurto Calvo, the article says: "Every single one of the engraved stones that Agurto acquired between 1962 and 1966, the year in which his investigations ended, contains representations of regional flora and fauna; both the designs and the themes are very like those that appear in the ceramics and textiles of the cultures of this zone: Nasca, Paracas, Tiahuanaco, Ica, and Inca. These themes, in every case, are flowers, corn, birds, fish, and animals of the region". I cannot but point out the lengths to which the authors seem prepared to go in order to avoid telling the truth about the Engraved Stones of Ica. They hide the fact that, in Agurto's own words (published in the 1966 article I have previously alluded to) (27), there are stones "representing unidentifiable things... fabulous figures and human beings, sometimes alone and sometimes together in elaborate and fantastic compositions". The author's intentions are also manifest in the statement "Agurto Calvo does not wish to comment on the authenticity of the engraved stones of Dr. Cabrera Darquea", which is followed later by "the opinions of reputed experts like Dr. Maria Reiche, Dr. Rosa Fung, and Arq. Santiago Agurto Calvo, are that the stones were engraved by talented artisans of our own tine". Besides making Agurto Calvo party to an opinion which according to the same reporters he did not wish to advance, I must object that neither the doctors Reiche and Fung nor anyone else can argue that the stones of my Museum have been carved during our time, since to date, despite my insistence and that of others that they be examined, not one Peruvian scientist has shown any interest in so doing.
So that the readers of the article would be convinced once and for all that the engraved stones in my museum are of recent manufacture, the authors obtained from Basilio Uchuya a written "confession" that he had made the stones in my collection, knowing full well that he had no choice but to say such a thing if he wished to get out of jail. The text of this "confession" is as follows: 'I, Basilio Uchuya Mendoza, declare that all of Dr. Javier Cabrera's stones were fabricated by me via a system of first burning the stones, then engraving them with a double-bladed knife, then dipping them in clay, then cleaning them with a rag, then blacking them with shoe wax. I have been doing this work since ten years ago, and the only person I have sold my work to in Dr. Cabrera, except that I knew him as Dr. Sotil". If the readers had not by now come to the desired conclusion, the reporters concluded with an unusual statement: that thus "was exposed the existence of a group of artisans of Ica who were the ones who engraved the stones with fabulous designs, at the behest of Cabrera". This statement is nowhere warranted in the testimony given by either Basilio Uchuya or Irma Gutierrez de Aparcana.
In another part of the article the following dialog between the reporters and Basilio Uchuya is reproduced:
-He knew that you were carving the stones?
-Well, yes, he knew. I told him that I made all of them.
-And he bought them anyway?
-And why did he want them if they were engraved by you?
-Well, he told me he wanted them to study them. He said he was doing some kind of study, and he asked me to get him more.
I pause here to make a few observations. In the text of his “confession", Bassilio Uchuya does not say that I knew that he carved the stones, and yet in the dialogue he affirms just that. He also says that "he (meaning myself) asked me to get him more". This too is contradictory, because if I am supposed to know that he was engraving the stones himself, I would not have asked him to "get" me more, but to "make" me more. One asks a person to "get" him more of something if one knows that this person does not make it but knows where to get it. The reporters, possibly startled by this spontaneous information offered by Basilio Uchuya, and forgetting what they had just heard, asked him:
-To get him more instead of make him more?
-To make more, then. It's the same thing, right?
It is impossible not to sense in this dialogue some fear on the part of these simple peasants, and at the same tine to sense that, in order to rid, themselves of such feelings, they thought their only hope was to respond to questions in the manner in which they judge their interrogators wished them to respond. "A few days later", the article reads, "we interviewed Basilio Uchuya again, mainly to retake some photographs from our first visit which had not come out". It adds, "Basilio did not want to say if Dr. Cabrera Darquea had asked him to carve certain designs". This is possibly because by the time of the second interview Basilio Uchuya had begun to feel the oppressive atmosphere lifting.
The article concludes with an interview of the prefect of the department of Ica, the political authority under whose jurisdiction the police serves. Referring to Basilio Uchuya and Irma Gutierrez de Aparcana, he says: "They are simple people, who make their living selling things. We have taken their statements and that's all". Then, in recognition of the fact that police investigations are not always the best way to determine scientific truth, he adds, "On the other matter, that is, the determination of whether the stones were carved by these peasants from Ocucaje or by men who lived thousands of years ago, we cannot take a position. There are other entities charged to establish truth in science, history, and culture in general... I think that the last word in this thorny affair will be given by the experts whom the cultural authorities designate, if they consider this necessary.
This article to which I have had reference was published, as noted above, on 17 January 1975. Two days later, on the nineteenth, the Lima daily Correo published in its supplement an interview with Adolfo Bermudez Jenkis, Director of the Museo Regional of Ica (28). Adolfo Bermudez Jenkis holds, among other opinions, that the Engraved Stone of Ica were made by Basilio Uchuya and his relatives and that it was never necessary to solicit the opinion of an expert because his friend the northamerican John H. Rowe had assured him that the stones were fakes. In 1966, when I was Director of the Casa de Cultura of Ica, I had heard him say that investigations were pointless since a friend of his had told him the stones were carved by the huaqueros of Ocucaje. But this was the first time that I had heard him name his friend and name the alleged author of the engravings. To declare in public that the opinion of a specialist is not needed and thus to assume that the stones are fakes is to be anti-scientific.
But there is more. It is strange that in thirteen pages which Mundial devoted to the engraved stones, there are offered, as examples of the innumerable stones that Basilio Uchuya and Irma Gutierrez de Aparcana supposedly carved, only seven photographs of the same stone. It is also strange that the opinions of Adolfo Bernudez Jenkis, published only two days later, should also be illustrated with only two photographs, of a single stone. But this perplexity begins to clear and reveal the true shape of things when we discover that the stone in the Mundial photos is the same one as in the Bernudez Jenkis article. Moreover, both publications have used the same photographs.
In five places in the world scientists have found parts of the earth's oldest layers. One of the places is Nasca, in the south of the province of Ica, and on this ancient portion of the earth are situated many of the zones in the department of Ica, including Ocucaje. For many years now the peasants of Ocucaje have known that the earth holds countless graves belonging to ancient cultures that lived in the region, and so one of the principal activities of the peasantry has been excavation in search of archeological treasures, which they then sell. Some of the best ceramics and textiles shown in the museums of the world come from Ocucaje, and the region is one of the most important archeological sites in Peru. Ocucaje is also a region rich in petrified remains of prehistoric animals. The prestigious archeologist Max Uhle called Ocucaje the paradise of archeology.
The first engraved stones appeared in 1961, and the first to collect them, the Soldi brothers, got them from the peasants of Ocucaje. Because the region has so many Inca and Pre-Inca graves, it was originally believed that the stones ware products of these cultures. But this is not so.
As regards the discoveries of fine ceramics and textiles in Inca and Pre-Inca graves, I have given an explanation: these ware made by gliptolithic humanity, and the cruder specimens ware made by the Incas and Pre-lncas. Where designs and symbols of gliptolithic origin are reproduced on primitive ceramics and textiles, we have evidence of cultural mestizaje, or gliptolithic mestizaje. I have also explained that for good reason gliptolithic man used stone to document his existence and leave his messages, burying these documents in the most stable regions of the earth, cushioned by layers of sand. The presence of engraved stones in Inca and Pre-Inca graves is similarly explained. It is possible that the Incas and Pre-Incas found a deposit of engraved stones and removed - along with the finest ceramics, textiles, gold pieces, and carved wood also made by gliptolithic humanity - only a few specimens. It is logical that since they did not understand the symbols and some of the figures on the stones, they should imagine that they were the work of the gods, that they should have considered them sacred and made them objects of veneration. Their presence in the graves shows the desire of the deceased for sacred objects to accompany him on his trip to the afterlife. But some Incas and Pre-Incas also carved their own stones in imitation of the gliptolithic pieces. Thus, in Inca and Pre-Inca graves there are two types of engraved stones: those made by gliptolithic humanity, with figures and symbols that record his achievements - scientific, technological, and human - and stones engraved by Incas and Pre-Incas. This latter type takes three forms: 1) faithful and complete copies of gliptolithic pieces, which I also call gliptolithic, and which are evidence of cultural mestizaje; 2) stones that refer only to the simple life and habitat of the Incas and Pre-Incas; and 3) stones that mix gliptolithic figures and symbols with elements of the life of the Inca or Pre-Incas, another form of gliptolithic mestizaje. Based on the large number of stones (50,000 not counting those still being sold) possessed by a large number of people, and based also on the two rare engraved stones found in 1966 in Pre-Inca tombs in Ocucaje, after a slow, exhaustive excavation carried out by Santiago Agurto Calvo and Alejandro Pezzia Assereto, I can say that the Engraved Stones of Ica come only very infrequently from Inca and Pre-Inca tombs; instead, nearly all come from the original deposits made by gliptolithic man. I think these deposits must be very close to Ocucaje, and that some of the peasants who search for archeological pieces found them.
The stones are sold in Ocucaje, a small village made up of a scattering of houses, some made of came covered with clay, and other of adobe. Only a few of the peasants who live here sell stones. That those who do sell them do so out of their hones has led to the belief that this is a local handicraftsman. That they are sold with the sheen and color given by a layer of shoe-wax has reinforced this belief (29). Finally, that the sellers often find it expedient to claim to be the manufacturers of the stones has also served to make this belief widespread. Nevertheless, all this is just the result of a clever deception invented by interested parties to promote the idea that the stones are not archeologically significant, so they can be sold freely. Faced with my insistence that scientific studies be realized on the subject of the stones, so as to put an end to illegal commerce in them, the deception had to take another tack: it was arranged that the campesinos produce a few stones, in the presence of those who are neophytes in the process, so that they would bear witness to the "fact" that all of the Engraved Stones of Ica are of recent manufacture.
Everything appears to have been thought of. The type of stone used by gliptolithic man can be found, although it is scarce, in the zone of Ocucaje, so the peasants use it for their demonstrations; it can be carved with any hard object. But since this stone is scarce, they have also been obliged to use gliptoliths. They rub out the engravings and then the gliptolith can be re-engraved in a demonstration before unsuspecting witnesses. Other times they use common river rocks, abundant in river beds, which are extraordinarily hard. To make incisions on them, steel knives are necessary. But in both types of stone the work of the campesinos reveals lack of skill, extreme simplicity, and shallow incisions. Moreover, any laboratory analysis will show that these false engraved stones lack the film of oxidation - the layer of age - that covers the engravings of the authentic specimens. But the clever deception goes even farther: beside gliptolithic designs and symbols, the modern artisans add their initials, dates, drawings of modern thing, and sometimes phrases that pretend to allude to the figures. The result is unusual juxtaposition, such as a dinosaur next to a bus or a bottle.
By these means, the peasants of Ocucaje engrave a few stones which they present as evidence that all of the authentic gliptoliths are of recent manufacture. Thus they manage to ridicule the idea that these might be records left by a people that lived in the remote past, and make it possible at the same time to sell them freely in the marketplace. The photographs of the - only stone with which Mundial illustrated its article and Correo illustrated the interview with the Director of the Regional Museum of Ica - in both cases, as we have seen, meant to show that the stones were made by the peasants of Ocucaje, show only a stone that has clearly been falsified in order to fool the non-specialist. The artist has tried to imitate the gliptolithic symbolism, but without an understanding of the system of expression used by gliptolithic man, the result is meaningless; what was evidently meant to be the head of a man comes out as a combination animal and human skeleton (Figs. 34 - 35).
FIGURE 34, 35: I am confronted with an act of disloyalty to science that it is impossible to defend: to say that the Engraved Stones of Ica
are manufactured by the peasants of Ocucaje, and yet not to carry out a scientific study to support such an opinion. Instead, we are offered
photos of a falsified stone, the only one found in the possession of the supposed manufacturers of the thousands of stones that have passed
and continue to pass through Ocucaje. The matter is made worse by the publication two days later of the same photograph in Correo
(Fig. 35) as was shown in Mundial (Fig. 34). Has there complicity between the two publications? If so, on whose orders, and to what end?
To make unscientific assertions in the name of science may be one reaction to the fear that science will validate that which the interested
parties wish to invalidate: the scientific worth that the Engraved Stones of Ica have always had.
In January 1975 the Lima daily La Prensa published a statement by Marino T. Carcelen, an exporter of Engraved Stones of Ica. The article says that, in the judgment of Sr. Carcelen, the Engraved Stones of Ica are merely artisanry, that he himself had seen them made, and in order to dispel any doubt about the modernity of the stones he exports, he has them signed by Irma Gutierrez de Aparcana. But the article points out a contradiction which sheds doubt on the utility of the signature as a means of proving recent manufacture. "Nevertheless, one must observe that the symbol used as a signature, and which appears on all the stones shown to us, gives the impression at times of having been inscribed with another instrument or at a different time from the engraving itself, since the strokes and color are slightly different, in some stones at least" (30). The article adds that Marino T. Carcelen stated that he had been exporting stones since 1973, with the authorization of the National Institute of Culture (31). This statement is accompanied by a photograph of a document authorizing Sr. Carcelen to export engraved stones.
I do not believe that the peasants who openly sell engraved stones of Ocucaje are the same ones who found the deposits used by gliptolithic humanity to preserve the stones. Those who know where the deposits are, who remove the stones and take them to the village, have two immediate goals: to maintain the fiction that they are the product of local artisanry, and to maintain the secret of the location of the deposits. Nor do I believe that these two groups of peasants are the only ones with a stake in the continued, unquestioned sale of stones. They must be merely the pawns of a larger organization whose leaders have devised this whole charade worthy of a mafia to which, poisoned by greed, it does not matter that they are destroying not only the archeological patrimony of Peru, but the cultural patrimony of the whole world. This is not my imagination. There are unquestionable signs. The reporters who wrote the article in Mundial did not go directly to Ocucaje, first they talked to someone in the city of Ica who have them the names of the supposed artisans whom they should interview, as the article says. Who is this person? The fact that the magazine published photos of a single faked stone shows that they did not find thousands of stones whose origin could be attributed to the supposed artisans; if they had found them they would surely have photographed them. In the report published in Correo which contains the opinions of Adolfo Bemudez Jenkis, Director of the Museo Regional of Ica, photos of the same stone were used. Who has provided the same photo to two different newspapers whose articles have the same purpose? By whose orders? Finally, the words chosen by Enrique Egoaguirre, Prefect of the Department of Ica, are revealing. After indicating, as regards Basilio Uchuya and Irma Gutierrez de Aparcana, that "we took their statements and that's all", he adds, "[we did this] despite the fact that there are people interested in the case. People who have even called me from Lima to say to me, 'Why don't you do this or that?’" To whom is the Prefect referring? To answer these questions would not only lead us to those who are so interested in the undisturbed freedom to sell authentic archeological treasures, but would also lead us to the deposits from which the stones continue to be extracted. Thus could the mystery of Ocucaje truly be solved.
(17) Agurta Calvo, clause ibid.
(18) Alejandro Pezzia Assereto: Ica y el Peru Precolombino, Volume 1. Ica, 1968.
(19) Herman Buse: "?Misterio Arqueologico o supercheria?". In El Comercio, Lima, January 6, 1972.
(20) Expreso, Lima, December 20, 1974.
(21) Robert Charroux: L'enigme des Andes, Editions Robert Laffont. Paris, 1974.
(22) "El mensaje de otra gran humanidad”. In Expreso Lita, Editions from December 21 to 26, 1974.
(23) Confront "...Las hizo Basilio Uchuya". In Mundial. No. 6, Lima, January 17, 1975. (Article with no signature or pen name, the same as the pictures on it. The magazine shows that the article was written by a team of journalists).
(24) PIP: Policia de Investigaciones del Peru. (Bureau of Investigation - Peru).
(25) Confront "Exportador de gliptolitos dice que son artesania". In La Prensa, Una, January 7, 1975.
(26) Confront "Piedras blandas de Ocucaje". In La Voz de Ica, November 19, 1973.
(27) Agurto Calvo, clause ibid.
(28) "Los gliptolitos de Ica: Una tesis delirante". In Suceso from Correo newspaper, Lima January 19, 1975. Interview from Mario Razzeto to Adolfo Bermudez Jenkins. Pictures: Alicia Benavides.
(29) In the first years, gliptoliths were sold with no alteration at all. Most of my collection is from that time. However since I began to show the conclusions of my studies which were shown emphatically the archeological validity of them, they began to be sold with the brightness and color of a shoe polish.
(30) See note 25.
(31) The Institute National de Cultura - known before as Casa de la Cultura del Peru - it is the organization which, among its functions, has to preserve the National Archeological Patrimony.
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