A woman with an elongated skull ruled in ancient Peru 3000 years ago

(ORDO NEWS) — In October 2009, a team of archaeologists from the Pacopampa Archaeological Project, led by renowned Japanese archaeologist Yuji Seki, discovered a 6.8-foot-long tomb whose remains date back to around 900 BC.

Pacopampa is an archaeological site located in the northern highlands of Peru, 1 km from the small population center of the same name, in the district of Kerokoto, in the province of Chota, in the department of Cajamarca.

Archaeologists from California State University San Marcos and the Japanese Archaeological Mission, led by Yuji Seki, worked together on this find.

This archaeological project was created in 2005 under an agreement between the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka (Japan) and the National University of San Marcos (Peru).

The team consisted of a group of Japanese researchers and experts who analyzed various materials found, such as human bones, ceramics, animal bones, minerals, metals and stone artifacts.

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This 3,000-year-old tomb belonged to an energetic lady who was born on the highest terraces of Cerro San Pedro (now in the province of Cajamarca Chota), a new historical passage from a distant period of formation.

Interestingly, the city that inhabited this place, known as the archaeological site of San Pedro de Pacopampa, celebrated the birth of a girl who was destined to become a powerful leader.

When archaeologist Yuji Seki and his team discovered this woman’s tomb at the Pacopampa archaeological site, they also discovered a very important detail that sheds new light on what the Formation (or Neo-Indian) period was like.

For archaeologists, the process of excavating the burial context was very difficult. In those days of hard work, Yuji Seki noticed a very important detail that could confirm the hypothesis that he put forward five years ago, when he first began his research in this region of the northern highlands of Peru.

This study received scientific support from the physical anthropologists Kazuhiro Uzawa and Tomohito Nagaoka.

Seki discovered that the remains of Lady Pacopampa had a deformity at the back of the skull, as well as other mysterious elements, including a blue substance (possibly of mineral origin) that was smeared on her remains along with cinnabar, as was the custom for burying the rulers of ancient Peru at that time. time.

According to anthropologist Kazuhiro Uzawa, the deformity of Lady Pakopampa’s skull may have been performed by her guardians. To achieve the deformation of her skull, special splints were placed on the back of her head from the moment she was born.

The Japanese scientist points out that this process of deformation of the skull began when she was three years old. The findings presented by Japanese anthropologists confirmed Yuji Seki’s hypothesis, which motivated his research to study the development of political power at that time in ancient Peru.

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The ancient lady had great political or religious influence. She wore two gold earrings, each about 25 cm long. Other stone jewelry and a necklace of clam shell beads were also found in her tomb, which testifies to the commercial exchange that existed at that time of Pacopampa with the peoples of the coast.

Offerings were found with her remains, including a small bottle with a long neck, a flat base and a spherical body, a dessert dish with holes in the base of the pedestal through which air enters to maintain combustion, a cup decorated with lines and circles, a bowl with a flat base , which was found on a dessert dish, as well as the remains of charcoal and ash, which show the performance of some kind of ritual or ceremony a few moments before burial.

The remains of the “Lady Pacopampa” were one of the most important discoveries of the Pacopampa archaeological project.

The Andean lady was between 25 and 45 years old. She was 155 cm tall. Scientists consider her the tallest woman of her time, since other burials found in Cajamarca have an average height of 1.45 m for women and 1.50 m for men. There is evidence that her remains were buried before the construction of the ceremonial temple, lying on her left side and in a bent position.

Scholars cannot order with certainty that Lady Pacopampa was a queen or chief, or that she was some kind of adviser, whose wisdom and power lay in the religious character of their actions. She could be a priestess who dominated the supernatural world and with a strong ideology.


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