LATITUDE 0°0’00”

My Equatorial Adventure

By Cristóbal Cobo Arízaga
Director of the Quitsato Project.

This 2017 was 20 years since I started with Quitsato. During all this time I have been dedicated to the exploration, research, diffusion and dissemination of the archaeological-astronomical heritage of the Equatorial Andes. This has been an indescribable adventure, in which I was able to discover and understand alignments, astronomical relations and light effects that our ancestors of the region worshiped centuries ago.

The emotions I have experienced represent the best and deepest gift that as a researcher I could receive during my attempts to solve the questions I had about aspects of our ancestral cultures.

These questions arose precisely because of a very weakly based Ecuadorian history of the archaeological sites of the Andes, especially the Equatorial Andes. A story, full of fables, myths, legends, and false heroes, where a large part of the academy stumbled in its dogmas and academic commitments; supported by the public institution, which has argued that the existing archaeological sites correspond to the Inca architecture and its supreme functionality was for war, creating a “light cartoon” full of blood.

Well, that story never satisfied my concerns, instead, what all these fatuous descriptions did was to feed even more my questions about the existence, correspondence and functionality of many of these archaeological sites.

My biggest concern was to understand what happened to local pre-Inca astronomy, taking into account the advantage of having an Andean alley with two mountain ranges to the East and the West.

Definitely, I had these and many other concerns that led me to explore, little by little everything concerning Zero Latitude. I researched all its historical, ethno historical, as well as archaeological and positional astronomy backgrounds. About this last science, I definitely found very little, but after deep studies and observations I understood the celestial mechanics from the Terrestrial Equator, which until that moment it could not be found explicitly in specialized texts.
However, several factors matched along this path. The practice since childhood of nature sports, such as hiking, exploration in jungles and moors, as well as, having been a free flight pilot; it allowed me to obtain another perspective of the equatorial Andean landscape. This also facilitated me to reach the domain of navigation instruments, such as GPS.

With all these questions and without logical answers, I began to investigate absolutely everything that existed: information developed for many centuries, cartography at different scales of the region, academic archives, archaeological studies, bibliography, contacts with authors, early and late chronicles, etc. All this information is linked together with data obtained through the use of instruments based on satellite and space technology.

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