LIMA – A tomb at the Sipan archaeological site in northern Peru confirms that the ancient Moche people were contemporaries of Christ, scientists say.
The head of the Huaca Rajada Sipan Archaeological Complex, Luis Chero, told Efe Monday that tombs are often found there that date back to the third century, but this burial confirms that the Moche or Mochica civilization existed before that.
“Now with this tomb we have evidence of the early Moche, of their origins, which is to say from approximately 100 B.C.,” he said.
The discovery of a young warrior’s tomb was presented to the press two months ago, but the new studies at the place it was found have brought further information to light as to its antiquity and also the age of the warrior, though other studies must be done to corroborate the findings.
Chero added that the analyses carried out last month by physical anthropologist Luis Millones in the grave some 12 meters (39 feet) underground show that this nobleman, who apparently performed “priestly and military functions,” was 21 years old when he died.
“The causes of death are currently in the process of analysis. He was quite young, he was 21, while the other people found in Sipan had an average age of 40,” Chero said.
The body of the young Moche had a breastplate and seashell bracelets and was surrounded by ceramic objects including an owl and spears.
In 1987, the archaeologist Walter Alva surprised the world with his discovery of the magnificent Royal Tombs of Sipan in the coastal province of Lambayeque, and since then excavations have continued at the site.
The Moche, who inhabited the Peruvian coast through the sixth century, were a people of farmers, artists, fishermen and warriors who achieved a high degree of development and a complex social organization.
These ancient settlers are known for their ceramics and their work in metallurgy, having mastered the techniques of smelting, laminating, forging, embossing and soldering. EFE