Archaeology Magazine

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Tomb of a Moche Priestess-Queen Opened in Peru

Thursday, August 08, 2013

JEQUETEPEQUE VALLEY, PERU—The eighth tomb of a series of powerful Moche priestess-queens has been unearthed at the site of San José de Moro. Some 1,200 years ago, her body had been placed in a coffin that was resting on a low platform, near a tall silver goblet associated with human sacrifice and blood consumption in Moche artworks. The wooden coffin has decayed, but its copper decorations, including a funerary mask and sandal-shaped pieces, have survived. The earthen walls of the tomb had been painted red, and ceramic vessels had been placed in its niches. Two adults, perhaps sacrificed attendants, and five children had been buried with the priestess-queen.