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Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Woman’s 4,500-Year-Old Burial Unearthed in Peru

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Peru Aspero burialLIMA, PERU—ANDINA News Service reports that archaeologist Ruth Shady and her team have unearthed the grave of a high-status woman at Áspero, an archaeological site located on the Peruvian coast, near the site of the large ancient city of Caral. The woman is estimated to have been 40 years old at the time of death, some 4,500 years ago. She had been buried with a pot containing traces of vegetables and seeds, a necklace made of shell beads, a pendant made from a Spondylus shell, and four tupus, or bone broaches featuring bird and monkey motifs. “The find shows evidence of gender equality, that is, both women and men were able to play leading roles and attain high social status more than 1,000 years ago,” Shady said. To read about another prehistoric site in Peru, go to "An Overlooked Inca Wonder."

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