A 3,000-year-old tomb has been discovered by archaeologists in northern Peru, the country’s culture ministry announced on Saturday.
The Pacopampa Archaeological Project, which has been excavating the area since 2005, has referred to the remains as the “Priest of Pacopampa.”
The priest was buried below six layers of ash mixed with black earth. Also included in his tomb were decorated ceramic bowls and seals. The archaeologists said that the ceramic bowls and seals were painted with the same substance applied to people’s bodies during ancient rituals practiced by the elite.
Along the tomb’s upper edges, two additional seals—one with an anthropomorphic face looking east, the other with a jaguar design facing west—were found.
The tomb is more than six and a half feet in diameter and more than three feet deep. The body was buried lying face down, with its feet crossed.
Additionally, a bone-shaped tupu, or large pin used by Andean Amerindians to hold cloaks and ponchos in place, was found. Usually, a tupu was paired with women’s garments, but that did not appear to have been the case here.
“Though this person is a man, the associations are very peculiar,” project leader Yuji Seki told Reuters. “I think this was a leader in his time.”