The ceremony took place in California, USA, at the Triennial Symposium of the International Society of Women Geographers (ISWG). Under the motto “Women who make a difference in the world”, Constanza Cerutti, anthropologist and associate researcher at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council of Argentina (CONICET), was awarded the Golden Medal after her lecture on her contributions in the field of high mountain archaeology and world sacred mountain anthropology.
For almost a century, the ISWG has awarded around 20 prominent women such as Jane Goodal, primatologist; Sylvia Earle, oceanographer; Margaret Mead, anthropologist and Amelia Earhart, aviator.
“It’s an honor for me to be an ISWG medalist and be part of this selected group of women who include prominent researchers” Cerutti, who has a true vocation as an anthropologist and mountaineer, affirms. The nomination of Ceruti was proposed by international colleagues and the decision was taken by the ISWG Board after the assessment of her backgrounds.
Her studies enabled her to climb more than one hundred mountains higher than 5000 meters, discover and document Inca ceremonial sites. She was a co-director of the Llullaillaco volcano and worked for weeks on the top of mountains 6700 height, where the highest archaeological sites are located. The researcher and a multidisciplinary team found the best preserved mummies and a very important set of Inca sacrifices that managed to preserve and study at the Universidad Católica de Salta, the workplace of the researcher. Currently, the mummies and sacrifices of the Llullaillaco are part of the Museo de Arqueología de Alta Montaña de Salta.
Ceruti is also recognized for her personality as an explorer as it has influence her researches into mountains that made her analyze and publish different studies such as the sacred mountains of Australia, Thailand, Ireland, Spain, the Alps, Costa Rica, Easter Island and the Americas. She is the author of several books and more than a hundred papers.
After obtaining her PhD in Anthropology, she obtained a Golden Medal for her qualifications at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. During her professional career she has received the following awards: “Vocación Académica”, “Trébol de Plata”, “Montañista del Año”, “Mujer Destacada de Salta”, “Cóndor Dorado Honoris Causa of the Ejército Argentino” –given for the first time to a woman for her expertise in mountains –, and the “Mujer del Año” in 1999.
At an international level, she has been awarded the: Courage Award by the Explorers Club of the Wings Worldquest; the “Distinguished Lecturer in Anthropology” recognition given by the University of West Georgia and the Doctor Honoris Causa in Humanities and Letters by the Moravian College in Pennsylvania.
Cerutti is the only Argentine woman who has been recognized by the Prince of Asturias Awards in the Communication and Humanities category while the National Geographic was awarded for her contributions to the environment preservation and culture dissemination. Finally, she had been invited to participate as lecturer and fellow at the global TED in Oxford and as a Rising Talent at the Women’s World Forum for Economy and Society