United States, Born 1943
Johan Reinhard is a man who thrives on diversity. For more than a quarter of a century this explorer, anthropologist, archaeologist, mountain climber, photographer and cinematographer has dedicated his life to unlocking the secrets of the great ancient civilizations.
The first Rolex Laureate to serve as a member of a selection committee, Reinhard’s notable achievements include the recent discovery of “Juanita, the Ice Maiden”, a remarkably preserved frozen Inca mummy, acknowledged as one of the most important discoveries of the century. For the intrepid explorer, this archaeological find of a lifetime embodies his ground-breaking work in helping to create and develop two new subfields of anthropology: high altitude archaeology and sacred geography, the study of ancient mountain top religious sites.
“I’m most interested in presenting theories that substantiate a hypothesis and help explain known facts,” says Reinhard. His explanation of the ancient Andean site of Machu Picchu is but one example of his new interpretations of the ancient past.
He has gained renown for many other scientific and archaeological firsts. Reinhard, who is a senior research fellow at the Mountain Institute, West Virginia, a research associate of the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, and an honorary professor of the Catholic University in Arequipa, Peru, has just completed a year as explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society.
Published in 1998