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A Museum of the XXI century, The Royal Tombs of Sipan

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In the fourth century AD, the Mochica  buried one of their greatest warlords. He was buried with his head towards the south, his nose and ears were covered with gold and his feet were clothed in thin silver for his voyage to the life after death. Nowadays, we call him The Lord of Sipan.

Ancient Peru is known as the land of gold and mainly related with the history of the Inca Empire. Not many people know that this remarkable but short-lived empire, which flourished for a century before the arrival of the Spaniards (sixteenth century), was preceded by a number of superb and highly developed civilizations and cultures, to name a few Nasca, Paracas and Wari. Another important pre-Inca civilization was the Moche. Its origins date back to the first century BC to its fall in the eighth century AD.

When you travel to the Northern coast of Peru, take a break in your journey at the Museum "Tumbas Reales de Sipan, located on the outskirts of the city of Chiclayo in Lambayeque, it is a must for Peruvians and visitors. The Museum is contextual and reunites the talents of ancient and modern Peruvians, an achievement of joint ventures throughout the centuries. The thoughtfully developed concept of Celso Prado, the designer architect was inspired by the archaeology of Mochica culture to create the spaces that enhance and protect the beauty of unique gold pieces excavated by archaeologist Walter Alva and his team in the late eighties. Most of all the remains and artifacts belonged to The Lord of Sipan the only Mochica prehispanic high authority known to this day; it is a revelation on the splendor of Peruvian rulers some 1,700 years ago.

The Museum is on a 7-hectare plot. It resembles a truncated pyramid composed of five prisms, which are laid slantwise. Protecting the collection pieces from sunlight, its structure was specially designed to initiate the visit from the access ramp to the apex on the third level and down to the second and first level. This idea reproduces the experience that the archaeologist had when in 1987 found the Moche Warlord in the Pyramid of Huaca Rajada, and has been since called "the Peruvian ambassador of prehispanic culture."

Along with hundreds of ceramic pieces and exquisite jewelry excavated from local pyramids, the visitor will find a representation of the Lord of Sipan in full gear and his court, including five mechanical manikins representing different personages from Moche society (politicians, warriors and religious authorities). The area around the museum also offers an array of attractions including the archaeological site where the Lord of Sipan was found.

The collection of pieces has been called "The Golden Wonder" by Times magazine, and a while ago National Geographic published an article named "Discovering the Richest Tomb in the New World". It really is one of the most important archeological finding of recent times, and before reaching its final destination, the collection has traveled to cities in Europe, the USA and Japan.

There is a project to create a great cultural center with a library, a small zoo and breeding place, in due course, a live museum with a Moche Pyramid and a areas where artisans will show how to work their ancient crafts using traditional technologies. Visitors will travel through time and recognize the same people that live today in the same conventions. In this manner, Dr. Walter Alva says that we will create a museum planned for the next 100 years, a cultural monument the "Museum of the XXI Century".

Visit Tumbas Reales de Sipan Museum web :

By Lola Salas
 Go toPeru  with Travel South America with   Rumbos Online