Explorer to talk ‘lost city’

The Royal Geographic Society announced that a major new Inca site had been discovered in Peru.

The discovery of the site, Cota Coca, comes just months after National Geographic announced the discovery of another “lost city” by a team of adventure specialists, including leaders of the expedition, American archaeologist Gary Ziegler and British writer Hugh Thomson, leading a team of participants and muleteers into the Peruvian Vilcamamba beyond Machu Picchu.

Ziegler is coming to the Jones Theater in Westcliffe at 6 p.m. July 8 to talk about his latest discoveries in Peru and show a recent film on Machu Pichu and other Inca sites, which he has discovered.

Gary Ziegler will present a special documentary on Inca building techniques followed by an open discussion, with a short slide presentation called “Extreme Archaeology in the remote Andes.”


Ziegler is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London and the Explorers Club of New York.

His accomplishments include the discovery of important new archaeological sites and the first ascents of seven major ice peaks in Peru.

In fact, according to a report on the Cota coca Reconnaissance Project by Ziegler and Thomson, a main Inca road appeared to have passed near the site and down the Yanama valley, which experienced much flooding and lowering of the water channel since Inca times.

“It is unlikely that the site was visited or known of following the fall of the last Sapa Inca, Tupac Amaru, in 1572. However one early explorer, the Compte de Sartiges, passed this way to reach Choqueuquirao in 1834.”

Along the way, he did a stint with U.S. Army special forces in Viet Nam, instructed for Colorado Outward Bound, staffed for the Peace Corps, worked for National Geographic, and chased bad guys as County Sheriff.

He trained the Mounted Posse unit and is a team leader of the local Search and Rescue

The event is to raise funds for the reconstruction of the floor of the Historic Jones Theater and to add a modern floor heating system and a” hearing loop” so that patrons of the theater who wear hearing aids will be able to enjoy movies, concerts and plays with clarity.

The theater has raided 78 percent of the funds needed but still requires another $15,000 to complete the project in the fall of 2014.

Tickets to the event are $20 each and can be purchased at the door or at Candy’s Coffee Shop at 106 S 2nd St. in Westcliffe or on line at or by calling the theater at 710-783-3004.

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