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News > Peru

Peru: Archaeologists Find a 3,000-Year-Old Priest's Tomb

  • Archaeological works in Cajamarca, Peru, 2023.

    Archaeological works in Cajamarca, Peru, 2023. | Photo: EFE

Published 28 August 2023

The discovery of the tomb was credited to the efforts of the Pocopamba Archaeological Project.

Japanese and Peruvian archaeologists uncovered a 3,000-year-old tomb that held the remains of a priest at a ceremonial site in Cajamarca, situated 900 km north of Lima.


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The distinct offerings found within the tomb led to the identification of this archaeological site as the resting place of "The Priest of the Pututos," given that pututos are shells that were utilized by ancient inhabitants of Peru to create trumpets.

The tomb is 1.5 meters deep and was protected by a rock of over half a ton that sealed a hole one meter in diameter. The priest's age is estimated to have been between 25 and 35 years old. Accompanying him were 12 Pututos sourced from the coasts of Tumbes and Guayaquil.

The nature of the burial site revealed that he had some level of authority because the tomb contains products brought to the Andean world from long distances.

In addition to these findings, the archaeologists stumbled upon domestic objects, stone earrings, and necklaces fashioned from white shells and malachite.

The discovery of the tomb was credited to the efforts of the Pocopamba Archaeological Project, overseen by a team of Japanese and Peruvian archaeologists, among whom are Yuji Seki, Daniel Morales, Elio Perez, and Juan Villanueva.

During their exploration, the researchers also encountered bowls and seals that shed light on ancient ritualistic techniques involving body painting for elite figures.

"This archaeological endeavor is being carried out thanks to a cooperation agreement between the San Marcos National University and the National Museum of Ethnology of Japan. Through this collaboration, over 70 archaeology students have been trained so far," noted Judith Padilla, the director of the Cajamarca Cultural Directorate.

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