Meso-America South America

Sipán, Moche Tomb

The city of Sipán dates from 50–700 AD, the same time as the Moche Period.  In 1987 archaeologist Walter Alva discovered the tomb of The Lord of Sipán, an important ruler of the Moche.  Inside the adobe funerary platform is a rectangular chamber with a roof sported by wooden beams.  Although the tomb was added to at various times, the main occupant of each tomb was male, inside a wooden coffin each with grave goods.

The Lord of Sipán was accompanied by seashells, scepters, pectorals, ceramics, textiles and many other luxury items.  Also found were human sacrifices, children and women and men.  The men seem to have been warriors. Other sacrifices were animals such as dogs and camelids.

The Sipán tombs were the first royal burials found in South America.  They were Inca, and archaeologists consider the site to be among the most important discoveries in the past few decades.

Scientific analysis of The Lord of Sipán indicates he was about 5’5″ tall, around 40 years old when he died and the quality if his diet and the wealth of jewelry made of gold, silver, copper indicate he was high ranking.  In Inca society artifacts made of precious metals symbolized the rulers power.