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Graves of Moche elite found in Peru

Archaeologists discovered the graves of members of the Moche civilisation who ruled the northern coast of Peru for 600 years starting in the 1st century after the birth of Christ.

Graves of Moche elite found in Peru
Grave with copper regalia and numerous ceramic vessels [Credit: Deisy Cubas]
The discovery was made at the Ucupe archaeological site in the north-western Peruvian region of Lambayeque and the remains date back to 600 or 700 AD.

According to local media, they were found in ceremonial chambers along with offerings, weapons and various artefacts.

Graves of Moche elite found in Peru
Detail Grave of copper regalia [Credit: Deisy Cubas]
According to Alva, the first grave may have belonged to a military leader as weapons and a crown were found with the remains.

The second grave had the skeletons of a woman and a child that were surrounded by copper ornaments and three ceramic urns.

Graves of Moche elite found in Peru
Remains of woman and child with goods [Credit: Deisy Cubas]
The first urn had the design of a leader on a throne, the other had the image of a snail and the third depicted an erotic act.

A third grave belonged to a man who is believed to be the eldest of the group although his social status is currently unknown.

Graves of Moche elite found in Peru
Sculptural pottery figure of man on a throne [Credit: Deisy Cubas]
Archaeologists hope the discovery will give insights into the social organisation of the Moche civilisation.

They built pyramids and temples that still stand today, and are believed to have been an advanced race despite practising human sacrifice, but they left no written record behind.

The Moche culture flourished in northern Peru from about 100 to 700 AD. They also predate the Inca and the capital is near present-day Moche, Trujillo, Peru.

Many scholars believe they were not politically organised as a state or empire. Instead they are believed to be a group of autonomous polities that shared a common culture.

Author: Matt Drake | Source: Daily Star [February 06, 2019]


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