A 1,200-year-old royal tomb belonging to the pre-Inca Sican Culture has been discovered in Peru’s coastal Lambayeque region, according to the director of the Las Ventanas archaeological dig.
The Latin American Herald Tribune spoke to Carlos Elera at the dig site at Lambayeque, who described the contents of the tomb:
“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.”
Elera described a bottle representing the entire “funerary bundle” facing the south west corner of the temple. He said this showed: ”A noteworthy symbolic connection.”
The tomb held a gilded copper crown with jaguars, a funeral mask with winged eyes, as well as spear points and arrowheads, among other items. Elera said sorting out the items would take at least three more weeks.
Fox News reported this was the first tomb found in the local Las Ventanas area and the second “funerary bundle” find featuring the departed on a litter since 1992, when a similar find was made at the Oro tomb.
The report said the litter had been a status symbol for nobles who were carried to show their importance and power. Elera said the use of litters was banned by Spanish colonial authorities staring in the Sixteenth Century.
The Spaniards wanted to break up the existing power relations, the report said.
The Sican culture was a local flowering of civilisation in northern Peru and succeeded the Moche culture around 750 A.D. and lasted until 1375, when it was conquered by the neighbouring Chimu culture. The present find is from the Early Sican era.
The Sican or Lambayeque culture is famous for its metallurgy, notably using copper and gold alloys in their artefacts.
The area was eventually conquered by the Incas in the Fifteenth Century and it was the Inca whom the Spanish Conquistadores found in the region.