"Toby, we’re going into the jungles of Peru. It's going to be dangerousand I don't want to see you hurt."
“I'll be careful and I'll be with you. Come on Dad, please?”
3 weeks later, Toby and his dad, Professor Bently of the University's archeology department boarded a plane heading to Lima, Peru, along with four other students from the University's archeology department working on their Masters degree.Toby was very excited, this was his first dig outside of the States. In preparation for this trip, he read articles about the Indians of Peru.
"Dad, I know that we're going to Peru, but what'llbe our objective?"
“Several years ago, there werepeople who lived in an area called Caral. The civilization that livedthere was estimated tohave been created in 2100 BC. This is possibly the oldest city in the Americas. Very little has been excavated so I'm anxious to see the site and to determine where's the best place to begin the dig.We'll be joined by archeologists from the San Marcos University in Lima."
As Toby listened to his dad, his excitement began to grow. If only he could discover an artifact, he'dfeel closer to his dad and just maybe his dad would include him on more digs.
As the plane landed in Lima, Toby's excitement grew to the point his dad had to tell him to calm himself. There was no way Toby was going to be calm, he was too excited. As they left the plane and entered the customs hall from passing through passport control, "Toby, you see that man standing at that window waving?" Toby looked where his dad was indicating, "That is Dr. Viego from the University’s archeology department. He’ll be part of the team."
"Dad, who is that young man standing next to him?"
"I don't know. Maybe it's a student from the university who is studying archeology.Sometimes students will accompany a dig as part of their curriculum. Remember you came on that dig we did in Arizona."
Toby kept studying the young man while they retrieved their luggage. Exiting the arrivals area, Dr. Viego met them.
"Dr. Bently, it’s good to see you again. I thought that since you brought your son with you I would invited one of my students to join us. They both can use the dig as a learning experience."
The young man approached Toby, “Hello, I'm Carlos Cervantes and a student of Professor Viego.” Toby introduced himself as the son of Dr. Bently.
As Dr. Bently and Dr. Viego chatted about the exploration of Caral, Toby and Carlos talk about general subjects. "Have you gone on other digs with Dr. Viego?"
“No, this is my first. I'm only a freshman and I think I was asked because we’re the same age. I'm very excited about going on this dig. In some ways this will be an opportunity to understand my heritage."
"I'm also very anxious to go on this dig.I've been with my father on digs in the States but this is my first dig outside of the States.I have read a little about the inhabitants of Caral and I'm very excited about going on this dig. Maybe if we work together we can find some important artifacts."
"Yes, that’ll be fantastic."
The boys continued to chat until they had to part at the hotel. "It seemed that you and Carlos got along very well."
"Yea, I think we’ll become good friends. He said that he looked forward to the dig as it may show some light on his ancestors."
"There are a lot of people who live in Peru, Chile and Ecuador who can trace their ancestors back to the early Indians. These digs are very important to them.”
"Carlos and I are excited about this dig. I think Carlos is excited because of the possibility of uncovering something about his ancestors.We agreed that it’d be really exciting if we're able to uncover an important relic that could shed some light on his ancestors.”
Sleep that night didn't come easy for two young men. The excitement of going on the dig kept them up most of the night.Of course, they had to pay for that when morning arrived. Two sleepy young men only got out of bed. this was the day they would be leaving for the dig. Dr. Bently and Dr. Viego teased the boys telling them they could go back to bed and come to the dig tomorrow.That did the trick as the two boys quickly helped to load the truck. Once they started heading to the dig, they took a little nap.
Arriving at the dig, in the early afternoon, Drs Bently and Viego met with the other students who were going to join them. Setting up camp was the main activity of the day.A large tent was set up as the main operational center. Once this tent was set up, the equipment wasunloaded. The smaller tents for housing the crew were set up around the main tent. A meeting was held before dinner to discuss how they were going to approach the dig. Carlos and I decided we’dlike to share one of the tents, my dad and Dr. Viego shared a tent. The other two tents were shared by the other 4.
In the morning over breakfast, my dad and Dr. Viegodiscussed their approach to the excavation of the dig. Four sections of the area were to be assigned to two team members. My dad reviewed the procedures we’d use and then took one of the university students and started toward what appeared to be the remnants of a building.Dr. Viego took another student and headed toward a stone pile that might have been an entry into the city. Two of the students went to a shallow spot and Carlos and Iheaded to ahill that looked like it shouldn't have been there.The area around the hill was flat, weboth hoped it would contain important artifacts.
With small hand held shovels, a brush and a tool with one end flatten, westarted to lay out our attackstrategy."Toby, let's take a picture of the four sides of the hill. Then we can divide the pictures into quadrants. You could work on one quadrant and I could work on another."
"That sounds like a good idea. If we start at the edge, we can work toward the center of the quadrant. "
And that is what wepresented to my dadand Dr. Diego.The other student team thought that was agood idea and decided to follow the same logic.Needless to say, we felt like we had made a major contribution for the day .
That evening, Dr. Bently congratulated the boys on using a scientific approach to their dig area. He reminded them that they had to take it slow and, even it may not look significant, they needed to place all objects except fine dirt into their collection box.
For the first 5 days all I saw was dirt. "Carlos, I wonder if this is just a hill of dirt."
"Maybe it is and maybe it isn't.You need to understand that this hill has been here for several hundred years. The wind alone would count for several feet of dirt.Keep digging, we’ll find something, my bones tell me this will be an important find."
I continued to sift earth the rest of the week.It seemed no one had uncovered anything of significance. I looked at dad and he seemed still very enthusiastic. I was puzzled but I knew if my dad was still positive then I’d keep on sifting dirt. It wasn't until the third week of the dig before Carlos and I found anything of significance.We worked toward each other from opposite sides of the hill.Simultaneously we uncovered a wall of stone that contained a series of pictures.I immediately call my dad to show him the wall.Carlos and I stood together waiting to hear what my dad and Dr. Diego would say about the wall.
"Well boys, this is a significant find.You now have to start in the other quadrants to determine if this is all of the wall or if there’s more. Continue sifting as you have done and let's see if there are any other artifacts that might help us to understand this find "That evening the other 4 guys had to look at the wall.
"John, those symbols look similar to the hieroglyphics in the tombs of Egypt.You don't think there’s a connection do you?"
"Let's try and apply the same techniques used on the writings in Egypt and see what we can come up with." Both boys beganto copy the figures so they couldstudy them later in their tent.Needless to say, Carlos and I were overjoyed at our find.
"You know there’s a school of thought that the same people who built the pyramids in Egypt also built the pyramids here in South America.The basis of the proposition is that these people were taught by aliens who landed on earth.Do you remember those strange lines that were discovered from space?Some people think they were markers to direct alien space ships."
"That would be awesome proof if these markings can be translated using the same techniques used in Egypt. Of course the other hypothesis is that the Egyptians arrived here by boats and settled in these areas."
"I can't wait to begin the excavation of the other two quadrants."
With these thoughts going through their minds, the boys finally drifted off to sleep. As soon as the sun broke through they were up and ready to start on the other two quadrants.
With these thoughts going through their minds, the boys finally drifted off to sleep. As soon as the sun broke through, they were up and ready to start on the other two quadrants.