Tomb shows Peru’s Moche were Christ’s contemporaries

October 27th, 2009 - 12:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Lima, Oct 27 (EFE) A tomb at the Sipan archaeological site in northern Peru confirms that the ancient Moche people were contemporaries of Christ, scientists say.
Luis Chero, the head of the Huaca Rajada Sipan Archaeological Complex, told EFE Monday that tombs are often found there that date back to the third century, but this burial confirms that the Moche or Mochica civilisation existed before that.

“Now with this tomb we have evidence of the early Moche, of their origins, which is to say from approximately 100 BC,” he said.

The discovery of a young warrior’s tomb was presented to the press two months ago, but the new studies at the place it was found have brought further information to light as to its antiquity and also the age of the warrior, though other studies must be done to corroborate the findings.

Chero added that the analysis carried out last month by physical anthropologist Luis Millones in the grave some 12 metres underground show that this nobleman, who apparently performed “priestly and military functions”, was 21 years old when he died.

“The causes of death are currently in the process of analysis. He was quite young, he was 21, while the other people found in Sipan had an average age of 40,” Chero said.

The body of the young Moche had a breastplate and seashell bracelets and was surrounded by ceramic objects including an owl and spears.

In 1987, archaeologist Walter Alva surprised the world with his discovery of the magnificent Royal Tombs of Sipan in the coastal province of Lambayeque, and since then excavations have continued at the site.

The Moche, who inhabited the Peruvian coast through the sixth century, were farmers, artists, fishermen and warriors who achieved a high degree of development and a complex social organisation.

These ancient settlers are known for their ceramics and their work in metallurgy, having mastered the techniques of smelting, laminating, forging, embossing and soldering.

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