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article imageRare royal tomb of Ancient Wari People unearthed in Peru

By Abdul Kuddus     Jun 30, 2013 in World
Lima — Archaeologists in Peru have unearthed a rare, undisturbed royal tomb belonging to the Wari Empire, filled with treasures and mummified women, dated to around 1,200 years ago.
The tomb was discovered in El Castillo de Huarmey, about175 miles north of Lima.
A team led by Polish and Peruvian archaeologists found the underground mausoleum that's predicted as the first unlooted Wari imperial tomb, intact for centuries buried under 27 metric tonnes of loose stone fill, according to the Huffington Post.
The discovery is the result of months of secret digging through the burial chambers by archaeologists amid fears that grave robbers would discover and loot the site.
The Wari Empire ruled in the Andes with their capital near the modern-day Ayacucho, in the Andes, reportedly before the rise of the world famous Inca civilisation who built Machu Pichu.
The Waris reportedly thrived from the 7th to 10th centuries AD, conquering all of what is now Peru before a mysterious decline of the empire.
At that time when Paris had about 25,000 residents, the Wari capital, Huari, housed about 40,000 people at its height, according to National Geographic, which reported the discovery.
“More than 60 skeletons were inside the tomb, including three Wari queens buried with gold and silver jewellery and brilliantly-painted ceramics. Many mummified bodies were found sitting upright - indicating royalty,” the BBC reported.
Milosz Giersz, co-director of the project said:
"We have found for the first time in Peruvian archaeological history, an imperial tomb of the Wari culture. The contents of the chamber consisted of 63 human bodies, most of them women, wrapped in funerary bundles buried in the typical seated position, a native Wari pattern."
Further, six of the skeletons found in the grave were placed on top of other burials in very strange positions, which archaeologists believed were human sacrifices.
Forensic archaeologist Wieslaw Wieckowski said:
"The fact that most of the skeletons were of women and the very rich grave goods, leads us to the interpretation that this was a tomb of the royal elite and that also changes our point of view on the position of the women in the Wari culture."
National Geographic further reported:
“There were traces of insect pupae found in the queens' bodies, suggesting that their mummies may have been periodically put out on display, left exposed to the open air, to be venerated by the living Wari people.”
Although the areas around the discovered site has been ravaged and looted numerous times by grave robbers, this mausoleum managed to evade scarification for hundreds of years, archaeologists declared.
In addition to the mummified queens and sacrificial entities, archaeologists unearthed more than a thousand artifacts such as semi-precious stone beads, carved wooden objects, bronze axes and gold and silver jewellery.
According to Giersz, the site will keep archaeologists busy for years.
The Waris, despite their reach in Andes, apparently remained mysterious to the rest of the world and this finding is a rarity for archaeologists—the fact that the burials that remained undisturbed for centuries.
Usually, looters destroy archaeological context and information while hauling away treasures, leaving archaeologists and researchers with numerous jigsaw puzzles and questions about how ancient people lived.
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