The planet is about to explode but…..


Apr 17, 2023
The leader of a scientific team there to study the primitive inhabitants is climbing up the mountain with the elders performing a ritual. The team is waiting impatiently knowing that they will certainly die if the don’t leave very soon.
Short story, early/mid 70’s
This one sounds vaguely familiar. Is there something about how the leader of the study team was chosen to participate in the ritual in a role he was interpreting incorrectly -- like it turns out that he's intended to be a human sacrifice?
spoiler alert: at the conclusion of the story, the leader of the exploration team is considering the irony of dying on a planet about to explode because his research led him to be in a group of primitives going to the top of the mountain to place a bag on top. The bag contains the last defacation of the tribe’s deceased leader.