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The Treasures of North Peru

July 18, 2013 Tourist Boards No Comments Email Email

Peru is a country internationally renowned for its mystical archaeological riches and unique culture. With the recent discovery of the 1,200 year old “Temple of the Dead” burial chamber at El Castillo de Huarmey, history enthusiasts have yet another reason to put this captivating country on their global map.

Filled with precious gold and silver funeral offerings, as well as the ancient remains of 63 Peruvians, the significant discovery is the first unlooted tomb of the ancient South American Wari civilisation from 700 to 1,000 A.D.

The extraordinary tomb provides an intriguing insight into pre-Incan culture, with more than 1,000 artefacts uncovered in the space, including gold and silver jewellery, bronze axes and gold tools.

The tomb is centred on a mysterious ceremonial room with a prominent stone throne, and contains another chamber unusually filled with rubble. Upon further investigation, archaeologists uncovered the remains of 60 human bodies buried in a seating position – speculated to have possibly been victims of human sacrifices.

The rare discovery also revealed the bodies of three Wari queens, adorned with inlaid gold and silver ear ornaments. Silver bowls, a rare ablaster drinking cup, cocoa leaf containers, gold weaving tools and brightly painted ceramics surrounded the Wari queens.

Archaeologists were stunned to unearth the important relics from the Wari civilisation’s vast empire, which was built in the 8th and 9th centuries, A.D., spanning across most of Peru. Wari artefacts have typically been subject to looters and the untouched findings mark a noteworthy discovery for archaeology in Peru.

Peru is rich in historic sites, with the country’s north presenting an abundance of archaeological findings. Peru’s Moche Route hosts ancient sites belonging to the pre-Incan Moche culture (A.D. 100-800), including the spectacular Huaca del Sol and the adjacent Huaca de la Luna. The tomb of the Lord of Sipan lies further north, discovered in 1987 intact and untouched by tomb thieves.

Another fascinating archaeological find in north Peru is El Brujo and the Lady of Cao – the mummy of a tattooed woman and the first of its kind to be unearthed in the country. The ancient city of Kuelap, also known as the City in the Clouds, is equally spectacular and located at the peak of a mountain higher than Machu Picchu. This site dates back to between 900 and 1100 AD and is a hidden gem of the north.

For more information on northern Peru, please visit

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