Remains of a Lambayeque priestess found in Peru

Remains of a Lambayeque priestess found in Peru

Researchers from the archaeological excavation of Chotuna-Chomancap near the Peruvian city of Chiclayo they have found rthese funerals of a woman who was a priestess of the Lambayeque or Sican culture, according to what the director of the project, Carlos Wester La Torre told Efe.

The preliminary conclusion of the physical anthropologist Mario Millones is that she was a woman between 25 and 30 years who lived during the second half of the 13th century after Christ in the last days of that culture from the north coast of Peru, whose most important historical figure was the Lord of Sipan, considered the Tutankhamun of America, in the third century after Christ.

The investigation, promoted by the Ministry of Culture of Peru, began eight months ago with an excavation that two months later found a grave, but it was not until a few days ago that sex and age were determined of the priestess.

Priestess Remains

All of his goods found in the tomb undoubtedly show the palace where he lived, along with the remains of seven other individuals, a llama, a "amount of really impressive objects in terms of quality and technology”, All indicating that he enjoyed a high social status during his life.

His youth indicates that the position was hereditary and its functions were eminently religious, related to rituals and sacrifices, receiving offerings and celebrating the changes of the seasons, the moon and the tides.”Says Wester La Torre.

Also had contact and relationships with neighboring cultures such as Cajamarca and others from Ecuador that provided it with shells, gold, ceramics and other materials and products high priced at the time.

It has also been found alongside the remains "Ceremonial urns that carried icons and objects including a gold scepter with the image of the divinity Lambayeque, objects that she used during her life that testify to its importance”.

All this is extraordinary information for us because it places women in the power structure in a complex society and reveals that religious power and hierarchy was not exclusively male, and that there is no reason to think that there are no more women like her.", He says.

Carlos Wester compares the discovery with that of the priestess found 20 years ago in San José de More, a woman who held a position in religious power in the Mochica culture that occupied the north coast of Peru between 100 BC and 700 AD, and also with the intact mummy of the Woman of Cao, the only woman known to rule in Peru and who was believed to have supernatural powers.

The director of the Chotuna-Chomancap archaeological project says that “curiously, it was the last years of both cultures when women were seen in religious life and in positions of power. We have yet to see if this female presence was a political response by society at a time of crisis in order to regain stability or was it a conscious response to the need for women in power.”.

Despite the fact that the state of conservation of the bone remains is “good overall", They will be transferred in their entirety"without separating them from each other as is usually done"To try to continue studying them in the laboratory and later display them as"testimony" of the women's access to power in pre-Columbian civilizations.

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