1,200-year-old royal tomb found in Peru

IANS, 21-01-2011 19:04:46

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Lima: The 1,200-year-old tomb of a ruler of the pre-Incan Sican culture has been found in Peru’s Lambayaque region, an official said.

"It’s an individual seated on a litter, a funerary bundle, in which has been found in situ a crown, a mask and a series of objects that accompany him," Carlos Elera, the director of the Las Ventanas archaeological dig, told EFE from Lambayeque.





One of the most interesting objects found is a bottle representing the funerary bundle that it accompanies, since both are facing toward the southwest corner of the temple, which represents "a noteworthy symbolic connection", the scientist said.

Also discovered was a gilded copper crown with an attachment of jaguars - with typical pendants worn by the elite in that region, a mask with winged eyes, spearpoints and arrowheads, among other artefacts.

Both the funerary bundle, as well as the majority of the objects, are still in the process of being excavated by archaeologists, a task that Elera calculates will take them three more weeks.

This is the first tomb found in the Las Ventanas tomb area and the second time that the find of a funerary bundle in the form of a person on a litter has been made since 1992, when a similar bundle was found at the Oro tomb, which is also from the Sican culture.

The litter, in ancient Peruvian cultures and up to the 16th century, was a symbol of status for nobles who had themselves carried on them to show their power, Elera said, but they were prohibited by Spanish colonial rulers who were trying to destroy the prevailing power structure in the region.

In his capacity as director of the Sican museum and head of the archaeological project, Elera asked local authorities to erect a stone wall 2.5 km long around the tomb to prevent the La Leche river, which flows just 70 meters from the site, from flooding the dig zone as a result of the heavy rains expected next month.

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