Tuesday, September 4, 2012


The north of Peru was once the center of a magnificent culture, Moche that occupied the northern coast of Peru of the modern territories of La Libertad, Lambayeque and Piura from the years 100 to 800 AD reaching a high level of cultural and artistic production as well as monumental architecture. 

They also established a system of taxes and a social structure strictly based on hierarchy, the planned agriculture consisted in the use of irrigation channels as well as water reservoirs and food storage. 

Moches became famous all over the world when on July 1987, an important discovery took place: The Royal Tombs of the Lord of Sipan were founded. The discovery was so important because the tombs were founded intact, something that is not common since the Spanish conquistadors start to profane them in order to steal important pieces made of gold, silver as well as ceramics and textiles. 

Huaca Rajada Lord of Sipan
Huaca Rajada, the site were the tomb was founded

With this wonderful discovery began the difficult task of recover and study each piece. Major findings were made on the Moche culture, their daily life, customs and beliefs and the importance of gods and religious ceremonies.

The number of the pieces founded, recovered and restored totaled 5.041 and this caused the controversy of where the collection will be exposed as not any museum had the proper infrastructure to host them.

Lord of Sipan
Lord of Sipan and some of the pieces founded in his tomb

Lord of Sipan
Gold necklace - Lord of Sipan

Considering that there was a proper museum for the exhibition, the construction of a new one had to begin.
Unbelievable, this project didn´t receive the support of the Government so the archeologist in charged had to ask for the collaboration of individuals, institutions and Peruvian private companies as well as the international scientific community and international corporations.

The Lord of Sipan collection was also exhibited in different countries, collecting sufficient funds to build the museum.

The museum design was inspired in a large truncated pyramid of concrete, like the ancient Mochica sanctuaries used to be and it is located in an area of ​​7.97 hectares in the city of Lambayeque.

Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum
Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum in Lambayeque inaugurated on 2002

The discovery and investigation of the Royal Tombs of Sipan, is one of the few cases in the world that offer the opportunity to organize a museum presentation about an intact funerary tomb and that today’s people can witness all the splendor of the jewelry and ornaments rescued so we can learn about the advanced technology development our ancestors reached and their complex social organization and cultural concepts about life and death, issues of concern and relevance to humanity of all times. 

The Museum had also become a sort of shrine and mausoleum that preserves the challenges, meaning and memory of important Peruvian ancestors. 

Lord of Sipan
The real Lord of Sipan at the museum
Representation of the Lord of Sipan at the museum
The Royal Tombs of Sipan was inaugurated on November 8, 2002, becoming an historical and touristic reference of a region, a culture and up to date it shows the following more collections founded through the years in Lambayeque:
• The Mochica Culture
• The Sanctuary of Sipan and the spiritual world of the Moche
• The Archaeological Research (methods and procedures)
• Tomb of the Lord of Sipan
• Priest's Tomb
• Other Royal Tombs
• Tomb of the Old Lord of Sipan
• Conservation and restoration
• Tomb sacked and international recoveries
• Recreation Mochica court (Casa Real).

If you are visiting Peru, consider a visit to the north of the country and the Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum in Lambayeque!

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