Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Wari Burial of Women One of Top Ten Discoveries in 2013

Archaeology magazine online is out with it's top ten archaeological discoveries for 2013 and among them is the discovery of a large burial of three, or possibly four, Wari women surrounded by the bodies of "40 noblewomen buried in a sitting position" and four other sacrificed individuals, gulp:

A Wari Matriarchy?

Castillo de Huarmey, Peru
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
At the center of Castillo de Huarmey in northern Peru is a burial complex where Milosz Giersz and a team of archaeologists from the University of Warsaw and the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru uncovered chambers containing the remains of three, or possibly four, royal women of the Wari Empire. They were accompanied by 40 noblewomen buried in a sitting position, seven sacrificed individuals whose bodies had been thrown over the seated burials, and more than 1,300 artifacts, including ear ornaments typically worn by royal men and weaving tools made of gold and silver.

Photo credit, Patrycja Przadka Giersz.
Check out the head and face on top of the ceremonial flask!

“This is the first time in an archaeological excavation that we have found a tomb full of prestige goods related to Wari women,” Giersz says, adding that cotton and camel-wool textiles also found as grave goods were considered by the Wari to be more valuable offerings than gold. Giersz estimates that the tomb dates to A.D. 750. Burials of royal men have been found at the site, but thus far not in chambers of this size. The tomb could answer questions about the roles that women played at the highest levels of Wari society.

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