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5.17.2006

 

Mummy dearest


This recently discovered female mummy (found with a gold bowl covering her face) has archeological tongues a waggin'. Photo by Ira Block, National Geographic.

There seems to be no end to the bizarre archaeological finds in Peru. Reuters broke this story yesterday, but there were no decent pictures, so I hesitated to blog it. But now that the NY Times is all over it -- pictures be damned -- I gotta post it.

It seems they've discovered the mummified, tattooed remains of an elite woman of the Moche culture. They believe the find is some 1,500 years old.

Finding the lavishly appointed tomb of a Moche leader is certainly a great find, but it's not unheard of. No, what's got the archeological world buzzing is that she's female. What's more, she was buried with some serious weaponry, including two ceremonial war clubs and 28 spear throwers -- which suggests that she not only was a leader of some kind but a warrior to boot. Until now, most experts agreed that the Moche culture, which thrived from 100 to 800 CE, was run by men -- a sort of Precolombian, he-man woman-haters club.

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