Thousand year old discovery reveals new information about social organization and ideology of the Sicán.
The Bosque de Pomac historical sanctuary is still turning up surprises and astonishing archaeologists. This incredible place, a vast forest of of algarrobo trees on the old grounds of the Batán Grande suger-cane hacienda, is dotted with dozens of ancient pyramids belonging to the Sicán culture, descendants of the Moche.
35km north of Chiclayo, the site was first excavated in 1978 by Japanese archaeologist and anthropologist Izumi Shimada, but it wasn’t until 1992 that his team discovered a tomb of an elite member of Sicán society. From this grave, 1.2 tonnes of precious metals in the form of jewellery and religious artefacts were removed, now stored in the National Sicán Museum. It made international news.
Since that discovery, many dozens more have been made, but the most recent has occurred in the past months.
New excavations have uncovered two burials of Sicán elite. The co-director of the archaeological project, Carlos Elera Arévalo, explains that the remains of both bodies were found with gold, silver and copper ornaments that demonstrate their position in their society, and the period during which they lived – around 900-1100 BC.
Work is still under way on the eastern side of the Huaca Loro pyramid, but hopefully within the coming weeks we will find out more about the two elite Sicán.
Carlos Elera Arévalo says however that their work goes beyond discovering fabulous ancient tombs with precious jewellery – the aim of their research is to find out more about the social organisation and religious ideology of the Sicán, also known as the Lambayeque, who developed in this area.
He added that between 1990 and 1996 alone, they have excavated and analysed some 50 burials of individuals of both sexes, various ages and social positions, including, among these, the Lord of Sicán (Not to be confused with the Lord of Sipán).