The Lord of Sipan – Sipan Moche archaeological site, Peru.


Replica of grave goods found with the Lord

Sipán,  a Moche archaeological site in northern Peru is famous for the tomb of El Señor de Sipán (Lord of Sipán).  It is considered to be one of the most important archaeological discoveries in the last 30 years, because the main tomb was found intact and undisturbed by thieves.  The tomb of the Lord of Sipan has been dated to around 100 ad.  The tombs are in an area are of wind eroded pyramidal shapes.  Excavations continue but a mock-up of the Lord of Sipan’s tomb, complete with replica head-dress, breastplates and other grave goods, is open to visitors.   It is believed that, as with ancient Egyptians, the people placed grave goods, including the remains of servants, to ensure survival of the elite into the afterlife. Also discovered were hundreds of small clay pots with individual faces, understood to be offerings made by the lord’s subjects.

OK you get the gist – it’s an important site.   Our visit started off well.   We made our way fom Chicolayo by public transport and were dropped off in the nearest village to the digs.  We headed down a hot dusty road towards the museum and threw the towel in when a bike stopped and offered us a lift (for a price of course).    No one was around when he stopped outside the entrance, expect one little old lady who was running  a cafe from her house.  Desperate for the loo and a drink we sat down and she fussed around us like we were royalty.  One coffee, a pee in a dodgy toilet and a quick conversation with the pigs outside, later we entered.

The museum was amazing, replicas of the gold stuff and lots and lots of artifacts with information in Spanish AND English.

After spending a good hour in the museum we headed out into the sun with high expectations.  After wandering around for what seemed like eternity down dirt tracks and piles of mud (the site is huge) looking for something interesting we found nothing apart from a lot of circling vultures waiting for us to die from despair and dehydration.

Carrion waiting for the unsuspecting tourists

Eventually we found some stairs that led up to a viewpoint so we could see the whole site.

So worth the climb!!!!!!!

However just as we were about to give up in despair we found a shaded path that took us along the base of the site for about 2km.  It was an oasis, there were trees, birds and blue lizards.

This was definately getting better.

At the end of the track was another small site where the archeologists were still excavating the Lord of Sipan’s tomb.  His current wife and servants, who were alive and well when he passed on, were destined to accompany him.

Now this was more like it.

May I introduce the Lord of Sipan

and the unfortunate wives.  Pretty cool stuff

We headed back to the main site it was still totally unnspiring and the vultures were eyeing us with a speculative look in their eyes.  We left and went home.

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One thought on “The Lord of Sipan – Sipan Moche archaeological site, Peru.

  1. Wow! Something so exciting about the ‘undiscovered’ in a world where,at times, it can feel like all is known to us already.

    And archeology always reminds me of Indiana Jones and Lara Croft! Exciting in itself!

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