Archaeologists trace witch craft culture in Peru

January 24th, 2010 - 1:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Lima, Jan 24 (IANS/EFE) Archaeologists claim to have found the first vital clue of the prevalence of witch craft in Peru some 800 years ago.
Remains of a witch doctor, who lived in the northern Peruvian region of Lambayeque 800 years ago and believed to have aphrodisiac properties, were found in La Pava de Mochumi.

The individual, buried with 500 nectarine seeds, not only treated patients but also spoke with god as was the shaman’s role in the Mochica and Lambayeque cultures, said Marco Fernandez, director of the La Pava de Mochumi archaeological complex.

The ceramic vessel containing nectarine seeds was the first clue towards finding the remains of the witch doctor from the pre-Incan Lambayeque culture, buried near the valley of the Tucume Pyramids, Fernandez told the daily El Comercio.

Archaeologists also found a Peruvian scallop shell for inhaling tobacco, gourds for drinking mate, pieces of textiles, a globular jug and a wooden cane.

Fernandez said that they found the remains of another individual from the same culture buried with objects that identify him as a middle-ranked official.

Ceremonial knives of copper gilt, fragments of quartz and seven ceramics were also found along with the remains of the other person.

However, Carlos Wester, Director of Lambayeque’s Bruning Museum, said that the burials discovered, both of the medicine man and the official, were evidence of intense cultural, artistic, technological and ritual activity in the Mochumi area.



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