Amar Tufo - The lord of Sipan


Ancient Peru is an amazing country with dozens archaeological sites scattered all across the Peru it self. One such site is a city of Sipan. Built sometimes around the 50 AD, the city flourished in around 5-th century AD, although it was abandoned back in 7-th century AD, under mysterious circumstances. This is a story of the lord of Sipan and it's tomb.

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The story of the lord of Sipan began in 1987 when local archaeologist by the name of Walter Alva visited the site Huaca Rajada or a platform dig deep into the ground. With his wife Susane, they began to excavate the site until they reach the inner tomb. The inner tomb was a 5x5 m in diameter and was filled with mud bricks and in center was a wooden sarcophagus which contain the body of a man ages 35-45 years old, and 1.63 m in height. This man was the lord of Sipan him self. 

Figure 1: Lord of Sipan and it's tomb


Upon excavating the tomb, dozens of archaeological artifacts were recovered from the tomb. The tomb was fill with dozens various items such as 1, 137 ceramic vessels belonging to the famous Mochica culture of norhtern Peru, bronze, cooper, and stone objects as well. The lord of Sipan was covered with luxurious clothes, a bronze mask covered his head, a golden armor covered his body while his knees were covered with shield that resembled the famous labris, Minoan ceremonial axe. Under his neck, there was necklace made of peanuts. 

Figure 2: Peanuts necklace of the lord of Sipan


The peanuts symbolizes that the man comes from Earth and upon death, it will return to her. The lord of Sipan was not alone in his after life. With him, Alva discovered several more tombs, a child above the head of the lord of Sipan which was around 9-10 years old. On his left and right side, there were two full grown warriors in sarcophagus made of reed and three woman aged 15-30 years old. 

Figure 3: Reconstruction of the lord of Sipan


Also to note that during excavations of his tomb, lord of Sipan was holding in his right hand a scepter with reversed pyramid. In his tomb, a dog and two lamas were also found. According to some interpretation, lamas should provide the feast for the lord of Sipan in his after life until he completes his secret journey to the underworld. Regarding the luxurious tomb of the lord of Sipan, a theory suggest that this was a very powerful man of Sipan during his lifetime, a priest and warrior judging from the finds of his tomb. 

The discovery of his tomb is one of the most famous archaeological find in archaeology of south America to this day. Today lord of Sipan lies in the museum of the royal tombs of the Sipan in Lambayeque where dozens of people come to see this once very powerful man with his story to tell. 


[1] Tomb of the lord of Sipan

[2] Sipan - Peru


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