Professor Cabrera’s Cabinet of Horrors: Secret Chambers and Shocking Artifacts with Controversial Origins
The works of art seemed to tell a story. Are we capable of reading and understanding the clay sculptures like a book?
What appears to be a dinosaur sculpture in the collection of strange artifacts. (© Walter Langbein)
For many years, only the carved stones in Professor Cabrera’s collection were known. He kept the clay sculptures a secret. Thousands of stones, with many more thousands of engravings were exhibited in Cabrera’s museum in Ica, located at the Plaza de Armas , carrying oftentimes fantastical motifs.
Carved stone featuring bee or insect? (© Walter Langbein)
Among others, they also depict highly complicated surgical procedures, but with an amount of fine detail that was impossible for the clay artists to give to their three-dimensional creations. The coarse clay simply did not allow for it. Therefore, artists evidently carved drawings into hard stone, with an incredible amount of recognizable details. Both the clay sculptures and the stone carvings repeatedly depict similar motifs; they would have been created at approximately the same time. But when?
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In the summer of 1967, the Compania Minera Mauricio Hochschild carried out an investigation into the carved stones of Professor Cabrera’s collection. The geologist Dr Erik Wolf was in charge of analyzing the layer of oxidation that had formed on top or over the carving incisions, the engravings, and that laid inside the grooves; the drawings had become covered by a very thin natural ‘glaze’. There is no question about it: the engravings must therefore be older than the oxidation layer.
Masses of engraved stones in Professor Cabrera’s collection. (© Walter Langbein)
Even if it is nearly impossible to directly determine the age of the carvings, it is of great help to date the oxidation layer. The result reveals THE MINIMUM AGE of the drawings. In addition to Dr Erik Wolf, the Institut für Mineralogie und Petrographie an der Universität Bonn , also carried out tests. Result: the engravings must have been carved into the stone at least 12,000 years ago. They are therefore 12,000 years old…or older.
Walter J. Langbein is author of some 60 non-fiction books on mysteries of the world, many of which have become bestsellers in Europe.
Top Image: Hundreds and Hundreds of objects in the once-secret collection of Professor Cabrera. (Courtesy Walter-J. Langbein)
Translation by Marlies Bugmann