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August 28, 2023 2:53 PM IST

Archaeologists unearth 3,000 year-old tomb of religious importance in Peru

Archaeologists unearth 3 | 000 year-old tomb in Peru | 3000 year-old tomb | Peru tomb | "Priest of Pacopampa

Archaeologists in northern Peru have unearthed a 3,000-year-old tomb which they believe might have honoured an elite religious leader in the Andean country some three millennia ago.

Dubbed the “Priest of Pacopampa,” referring to the highland archaeological zone where the tomb was found, the priest was buried under six layers of ash mixed with black earth, decorated ceramic bowls and seals indicating ancient ritual body paint used for people of elite standing, Peru’s Culture Ministry said in a statement on Saturday (August 27).

Two seals were also found along the upper edges of the tomb; one with an anthropomorphic face looking east and another with a jaguar design facing west.

The Pacopampa Archaeological Project has been working in the area since 2005, the ministry said, adding that rock layers indicate the priest, who would have been buried around 1,200 B.C., was some five centuries older than the tombs of the “Lady of Pacopampa” and the “Priests of the Serpent Jaguar of Pacopampa,” discovered in 2009 and 2015 respectively.

Project Leader, Yuji Seki said that the tomb is very large in size, almost two meters (6.56 feet) in diameter and 1 meter (3.28 feet) deep. “This is a male character, lying facing down. His body’s upper half is extended, but his lower half (legs) is crossed. It is a peculiar position,” Seki added.

The archaeologist also found various complete ceramic pieces and a bone in the shape of a ‘tupu’ (large needle used by ancient Andean groups) to secure a female cape, even though (the skeleton) is a male. Yuji Seki confirmed that these associations are very interesting this person might have been a leader.

The Pacopampa Archaeological Project has been working in the area since 2005, the ministry said, adding that rock layers indicate the priest, who would have been buried around 1,200BC, was some five centuries older than the tombs of the “Lady of Pacopampa” and the “Priests of the Serpent Jaguar of Pacopampa,” discovered in 2009 and 2015 respectively.

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