SEVILLE, Spain – A more-than-2,000-year-old skull from Peru turned up after being missing for more than 80 years after it was exhibited at the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition in this southern Spanish city.
Eight decades after being brought to Spain, the skull, which apparently is that of a male around age 30, arrived at the University of Seville thanks to “a chain of lucky chances,” forensic medicine professor Leandro Picabea told Efe.
The report coming from the investigation of the skull will accompany it upon its return to the Peruvian government.
Peru’s deputy consul in Seville, Luis Pablo Salamanca, said that recovering the skull “is important” for his country because “it’s part of (our) culture and history.”
The skull was among the objects that remained in the southern Spanish city after the Expo ended in 1929.
Picabea said that the Peruvian consul at that time turned it over to a doctor who kept it until he died, whereupon his widow passed it to Fernando Fernandez, the former director of the Archaeological Museum of Seville, who then delivered it to Luis Hurtado, the coordinator of the project to recover the item.
Hurtado then sent it to the Anatomy Department at the University of Seville, where Professor Jesus Ambrosiani, in collaboration with Picabea, began a careful anatomical and anthropological study of the skull, which is considered to be representative of the pre-Inca population.
One of the interesting features of the skull, Picabea said, is that it has a hand-written inscription on the posterior portion saying that is comes from the area near Cuzco.
The inscription reads: “This skull was given to me by my friend Ismael Pozo, the eminent Peruvian writer, it was displayed at the Peruvian Pavilion during the Ibero-American Exposition and comes from Cuzco, with an age of more than 2,000 years. And to record this, I sign in Seville on Feb. 20, 1931. Antonio Plata Olmedo, artist-painter.” EFE