A noteworthy find has been made by archaeologists in northern Peru. Archaeologists have discovered a 3,000-year-old tomb that is said to have celebrated a prominent religious figure in ancient Andean civilization. The last resting place of this ancient priest, known as the “Priest of Pacopampa”—the name of the highland archaeological location where the tomb was discovered—was hidden behind six layers of ash and black dirt.
According to a statement issued by Peru’s Culture Ministry on August 27, the tomb was adorned with ornate pottery bowls and seals that demonstrated the usage of ancient ceremonial body paint, a practise connected to people of great status.
Along the upper margins of the tomb, two seals were also found. One had a jaguar pattern facing west, while the other displayed an anthropomorphic face facing east.
According to the government, investigation has been going place in this region since 2005 thanks to the Pacopampa Archaeological Project. Notably, geological strata indicate that the priest, who is thought to have been buried around 1,200 BC, predates the tombs of the “Lady of Pacopampa” and the “Priests of the Serpent Jaguar of Pacopampa” by around five centuries, respectively.
The tomb is fairly large, with a diameter of over two metres (6.56 feet) and a depth of one metre (3.28 feet), according to Yuji Seki, the project leader. Seki also noted that the male inhabitant of the tomb was in an uncommon position for burial: he was lying face down with his upper body stretched and his legs crossed.
Several complete pottery pieces and a bone in the shape of a “tupu,” a sizable needle used by ancient Andean civilizations to secure women’s capes, were among the artefacts discovered within the tomb. According to Yuji Seki, this finding is especially noteworthy because the tomb’s male inhabitant is thought to have played important cultural and leadership duties.
The continuous work of the Pacopampa Archaeological Project has thrown light on the lifestyles and traditions of Peru’s aristocratic people from ancient times, offering insightful knowledge into the country’s ancient past.