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Lord of Sipan
In the fourth century AD, the Moche people buried one of their greatest warlords. He was buried with his head pointing south, his nose and ears covered with gold relics and his feet clad in silver.
To accompany him, his subjects sacrificed women, children and llamas, while the finest warriors of the era accompanied their overlord on his voyage to the Afterlife.
More than 1,700 years later, the warlord made his triumphant reappearance. Not that he did it by himself: in 1987, a team of archaeologists led by Walter Alva found the skeleton of the Lord of Sipan 29 km from the city of Chiclayo in the department of Lambayeque, on Peru's north coast. It was hailed as one of the most important archaeological finds of the century.
The structure found in Sipan is made up of three pyramids, one of which contained the warrior-priest accompanied by the bodies of his followers. But more than just the spectacular nature of the discovery and the sterling quality of the relics, the Royal Tombs of the Lord of Sipan have enabled historians and archaeologists to piece together much of the lost history of an impressive civilization which dominated most of northern Peru for centuries: the Moche.
After spending years on exhibit in the Americas, Europe and Asia, the treasures of the Lord of Sipan are now on display at the Brüning Museum in the town of Lambayeque. Peru hopes to build a state-of-the-art on-site museum and cultural center to guarantee the preservation of the bodies. This will ensure the ancient noble will continue to unravel his mysteries for future generations.
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