23 May 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

Tombs of elite Wari craftsmen found in the royal necropolis in Castillo de Huarmey, Peru

A group of tombs of elite craftsmen of the Wari culture has been discovered at the archaeological site of Castillo de Huarmey, a pyramid-like burial complex in the Ancash Region of Peru.

Castillo de Huarmey, meaning “the Castle on the River Huarmey,” was thought to be a cemetery for Wari royalty, a pre-Inca Middle Horizon civilization that flourished in modern-day Peru’s south-central Andes and coastal area from around AD 500 to AD 1000.

The tombs found are the first ever found tombs of outstanding Wari craftsmen and confirm Huarmey’s importance as an administrative and cultural center.

The Gallery of Elite Craftsmen found in 2022 was located just beneath royal mausoleum of Castillo de Huarmey, discovered 10 years before. © M. Giersz, under CC BY-SA 4.0 licence

Four adults (two men, two women) and three adolescent burials were discovered inside adobe brick tombs, along with hundreds of the tools and supplies they would have used in their occupations.

The primary burial is most likely that of an adult man who appears to have been a basket weaver based on the grave goods. He passed away at the age of 40 about 1,300 years ago. His body was wrapped in layers of fabric and buried alongside his tools of the trade: axes, knives, saws, and a cane used to make baskets. There was also beautiful jewelry, such as a gold headdress and a gold ear ornament inlaid with a semi-precious stone. The other man and the adolescents were buried with him. The two women were close by.  Archaeologists believe they may have all been related.

Mummy of one of the elite artisans discovered in the gallery © M. Giersz, under CC BY-SA 4.0 license

The artisans had to have been attached to the royal court. Archaeologists discovered a royal mausoleum in 2010 that housed the remains of one queen, 57 aristocratic women, six human sacrificial victims, and two guards who had their feet amputated so they could never desert their post. More than 1,300 objects in gold, silver, bronze, gemstones, wood, bone, shell, and painted ceramics were housed in the mausoleum. The tombs of the elite craftsmen were located just below the mausoleum, a step down from the royals in the hierarchy, but so high in status that it’s entirely possible that Wari artisans were either elite-born or able to rise through their work to the upper echelons of society.

Archaeologists have named this part of the cemetery the ‘Gallery of Elite Craftsmen’.

Golden ear ornament with inlays of semi-precious stones © M. Giersz, under CC BY-SA 4.0 licence

Professor Miłosz Giersz, Head of the Department of Archaeology of the Americas at the University of Warsaw said: ” This discovery confirms what we expected from previous years: both men and women buried in Castillo de Huarmey were devoted to the highest-class craftsmanship and produced elite products of their era.”

All of these new discoveries support the view that Castillo de Huarmey served as the most important power, administrative and craft center, and necropolis of the empire’s highest elites, as well as the most important complex on the Peruvian coast during the Wari period. Furthermore, Giersz remarks that this remarkable discovery occurred in the midst of an uncertain scenario, as Castillo de Huarmey had long been thought to have been looted in its entirety by treasure hunters.

Related Articles

2000-year-old anchor discovered at the bottom of the North Sea

26 September 2022

26 September 2022

A possible Iron Age anchor made from wrought iron was found at the bottom of the southern North Sea during...

30 Graves Found in the Basilica-Planned Ancient City

4 April 2021

4 April 2021

Kibyra ancient city is situated south of Turkey, located in the town Gölhisar in the southwestern part of Burdur Province,...

A 7,500-year-old settlement has been discovered in Turkey’s Domuztepe Mound

11 September 2021

11 September 2021

During the most recent excavations at Domuztepe Mound in the Türkoğlu district of southern Turkey’s Kahramanmaraş province, a settlement and...

Military veterans uncovered ‘richest grave this year’ on final dig at Anglo-Saxon Cemetery

19 July 2023

19 July 2023

During excavations at an Anglo-Saxon cemetery on military training lands on Salisbury Plain, military veterans have unearthed the richest tomb...

The excavations in Selinunte, Italy, which has the largest Agora in the Ancient World, “The results have gone well beyond expectations”

29 July 2022

29 July 2022

In the Selinunte, one of the most important archaeological sites of the Greek period in Italy, the outlines of the...

In the city of Gods and Goddesses Magnesia, Zeus Temple’s entrance gate found

26 September 2021

26 September 2021

During an excavation in the ancient city of Magnesia, located in the Ortaklar district of Germencik in Turkey’s Aegean province...

Saudi Archaeologists have discovered a pre-Islamic Musnad inscription and a bronze bullhead

18 February 2023

18 February 2023

Saudi archaeologists have discovered the longest pre-Islamic Musnad inscription -of the ancient south Arabian script- and three gold rings and...

Two more Giants discovered at Mont’e Prama in Sardinia, Italy

7 May 2022

7 May 2022

Two more Giants have emerged from the Mont’e Prama excavations in Sardinia: both of the new statues have been described...

Evidence found of Goose domestication in Neolithic China 7,000 years ago

8 March 2022

8 March 2022

Geese may have been domesticated in what is now China as early as 7,000 years ago, according to a study...

Ancient rubbish dump under Hatshepsut temple reveals hundreds of artifacts

24 November 2021

24 November 2021

Polish archaeologists uncovered a 3,500-year-old dump while working on the reconstruction of the Hathor Goddess Chapel, which is part of...

Apocalypse Ship of the Vikings

26 April 2021

26 April 2021

Researchers discovered a stone boat made by Vikings and surprising gifts inside a cave in Iceland. Aside from the cave,...

The famous archaeologist says he will announce the discovery of the mummy of Queen Nefertiti, one of Egyptology’s main riddles, next month

14 September 2022

14 September 2022

On December 9, 2021, Egypt’s archaeological mission, headed by renowned Egyptologist and former Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass, resumed its search...

Karahantepe; It will radically change the way we look at the Neolithic Age

1 June 2022

1 June 2022

Findings on settled village life in the ongoing excavations in Karahantepe will profoundly change our knowledge of the Neolithic Age....

Runic Alphabet Symbols in the Tombs Found in the Excavations in Istanbul

23 May 2021

23 May 2021

In the excavations carried out by the Istanbul Archeology Museums in the area where the metro station will be built...

12,000-year-old ‘public building’ unearthed in southeastern Turkey’s Mardin

27 September 2022

27 September 2022

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a “public building” thought to be 12,000 years old at Boncuklu Tarla in the...