Archaeologists say the discovery of another tomb belonging to a pre-Hispanic priestess in Peru, is the eighth in more than twenty years, confirms that powerful women ruled this region 1200 years ago.
In late July The remains of the woman from the Moche – or Mochica – civilisation were discovered in an area called La Libertad in the country’s northern Chepan province.
It is one of several finds in this region that have amazed scientists. In 2006, researchers came across the famous ‘Lady of Cao’ – who died about 1700 years ago and is seen as one of the first female rulers in Peru.
Project director Luis Jaime Castillo said, “This find makes it clear that women didn’t just run rituals in this area but governed here and were queens of Mochica society,It is the eighth priestess to be discovered,Our excavations have only turned up tombs with women, never men.”
The priestess was in an “impressive 1200-year-old burial chamber” the archaeologist said, pointing out that the Mochica were known as master craftsmen. “The burial chamber of the priestess is ‘L’-shaped and made of clay, covered with copper plates in the form of waves and sea birds, Near the neck is a mask and a knife”
The tomb, decorated with pictures in red and yellow, also has ceramic offerings – mostly small vases – hidden in about 10 niches on the side. “Accompanying the priestess are bodies of five children, two of them babies, and two adults, all of whom were sacrificed,” Castillo said, noting there were two feathers atop the coffin.
Julio Saldana, the archaeologist responsible for work in the burial chamber, said the discovery of the tomb confirms that the village of San Jose de Moro is a cemetery of the Mochica elite, with the most impressive tombs belonging to women.
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