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Royal Tombs of Sipan
Lambayeque Peru

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: The region enjoys a benevolent climate, with average annual temperatures of 20°C, maximum temperatures over 30°C in summer and a minimum of 15°C in winter.

Access: The tombs of the Lord of Sipán lie 35 km southeast of the city of Chiclayo (40 minutes) and the Brüning Archaeological Museum, in the province of Lambayeque, 12 km (10 minutes) away.

In april 1987 the sumptuous Royal Tomb of the Lord of Sipan was discovered in the northern province of Lambayeque. An archeological investigation of the site was promptly issued, commanded by Doctor Walter Alva and crewed with a team of Peruvian experts on pre-columbine cultures. It has been dubbed "The Golden Wonder" by Times magazine, and National Geographic has published an article named "Discovering the Richest Tomb in the New World". It represents, without a doubt, the most important archeological finding of recent times, and the collection has traveled throughout the world in a series of impressive expos in Europe, the USA and Japan.

The Royal Tombs of Sipan funeral complex houses within its walls illustrious rulers of the Mochica culture. The most notorious of these include the Lord of Sipan, the Old Lord of Sipan, and the Priest. With them dwell their many companions and guards. It is a mystical treasure that manifests the artistic and cultural wonders of Ancient Peru.

The Museum Royal Tombs of Sipan is located on the outskirts of the city of Chiclayo, in the northern coastal province of Lambayeque, on a 7 hectare plot. It resembles a truncated pyramid composed of five prisms which are laid diagonally and bare replicas of the royal standards of the Tomb of the Lord of Sipan. The red and yellow colors which decorate the building are similar to the ochre colors the Mochicas used in their decoration. The purpose of the museum's architectural design is to recreate the spirit of the Mochica temples, and to serve as a fully functional museum as well as a mausoleum for the Lord of Sipan and his companions. It was inaugurated in 2002, and is one of the most sophisticated museums in the region.

In the fourth century AD, the Moche people buried one of their greatest warlords. He was buried with his head pointing south, his nose and ears covered with gold relics and his feet clad in silver. To accompany him, his subjects sacrificed women, children and llamas, while the finest warriors of the era accompanied their overlord on his voyage to the Afterlife. More than 1,700 years later, the warlord made his triumphant reappearance. Not that he did it by himself: in 1987, a team of archaeologists led by Walter Alva found the skeleton of the Lord of Sipán 29 km from the city of Chiclayo in the department of Lambayeque, on Peru's north coast. It was hailed as one of the most important archaeological finds of the century.

The structure found in Sipán is made up of three pyramids, one of which contained the warrior-priest accompanied by the bodies of his followers. But more than just the spectacular nature of the discovery and the sterling quality of the relics, the Royal Tombs of the Lord of Sipán have enabled historians and archaeologists to piece together much of the lost history of an impressive civilization which dominated most of northern Peru for centuries: the Moche. After spending years on exhibit in the Americas, Europe and Asia, the treasures of the Lord of Sipán are now on display at the Museum "Tumbas Reales de Sipán" in the town of Lambayeque. This will ensure the ancient noble will continue to unravel his mysteries for future generations.

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