Recently it has been discovered in the north of Peru, a ancient Moche temple. Among the remains have also been found 14 graves from different cultures among which two decapitated bodies have been found. The temple and tombs have been dated between 300 and 500 AD.
The director of the discovery is the archaeologist Ignacio Alva Meneses, who on Tuesday (July 26) explained to Reuters that they have uncovered some curious fines since the excavation began in May last year. Alva said the site is of great importance for many reasons, but mostly because of the fact that they were discovered two decapitated bodies among the 14 graves discovered so far.
According to the archaeologist, beheadings are very rare archaeological finds and as far as he knows these are the first tombs containing beheaded individuals in the area of the northwest coast of Peru, near the city of Chiclayo, about 750 kilometers north of Lima.
A team of workers was hired to discover the temple which is attributed to the Moche culture and is believed to have been abandoned for decades before the bodies were buried there.
Apparently the bodies belonged mostly to children and there was also a grave that Alva believes belongs to a priest. He also thinks that the tombs could belong to later cultures in the area, perhaps the culture Sicán or Chimú, which also claimed the region.
Another curious find are two connected tombs they are still investigating to explain for sure. Alva believes that the two bodies in the connected graves along with the priest's body may have been the first to be buried at the site.
“We have found two connected tombs dating from a time after the temple was abandoned. The temple was built, prepared, manufactured, remodeled by the Moche culture, in the early days”Alva said.
“The temple dates from early Moche period, between 300 and 500 years after Christ, more or less. As for the tombs they come from 600 years after Christ, for sure, ”he said.
“Ceremonial burials were probably held at the same time as tombs were buried. The graves of the two people, number 11, and that of the priest are much deeper. It may be that they were provided in the same period of the culture and even during the same event. It could even have been a ritual relationship between them”, Alva explained.
Ceramic pieces they were buried with each of the individuals in their specific graves.
Alva explained that the decapitation of the two headless bodies could have been, along with the decapitation of ceramic figures placed in cemeteries, probably a kind of symbolic gesture.
“It has to do with a ritual act. They beheaded the bodies at the same time that they decapitated the ceramic piece and in this ceramic piece they cut off the head, which also represents decapitation. There is a metaphorical relationship between the beheaded person and the objects buried with them”Alva added.
According to Alva the temple was not originally built as a tomb house and may have been built as a tribute to the land, perhaps even to the mountains.
He said there is still a lot of work to be done and that the excavation will continue throughout the year.