800 year old tomb of shaman discovered

January 23rd, 2010

Curanderowitch-doctor or medicine-man in English, but the most direct translation is healer. The tradition of the curanderos still runs strong in the Muchik northern coast of La Libertad and Lambayeque, particularly around Chiclayo. The traditions and techniques of theses healers date back to pre-Colombian times and the the civilisations of the Chimú, Sicán and the Moche before them. Archaeologists have recently been given a glimpse into this period of time with the discovery of the 800 year old tomb of a Sicán curandero.



The curandero was found alongside 500 nectandra seeds, considered aphrodisiacs, at the archaeological complex of La Pava de Mochumí near Lambayeque‘s Valley of Pyramids near Túcume.

The seeds were contained in a ceramic vase that was discovered first and convinced archaeologists to keep digging. They eventually discovered the curandero along with a fan-shaped shell for smoking, mates burilados, textiles, a ceramic jug and a wooden staff.

They then discovered another burial from the same time period, again with objects, such as quartz stone and ceramics, that indicated his relative importance.



Director of the Brüning Museum in Lambayeque, Carlos Wester, states that the discoveries of the curandero and the person of medium authority indicate the intense level cultural, artistic, technological and religious activities that were taking place in the Mochumí sector of the vast archaeological region.

The curandero, according to experts in pre-Inca Lambayeque, was not only charged with healing, but was also a medium through which to communicated with the gods.

Peru has destined 1.5 million soles, about 540,000 dollars, to archaeological investigations in the region which over various centuries was home to the Moche, Chimú and Sicán.

Mochumí is located in one of the ancient world’s most important but relatively unheard-of centres of civilisation, one that features countless hundreds of towering pyramids, thousands of temples, and the ancient world’s longest artificial water channels.

More tombs uncovered

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