The discovery of an elaborate necropolis of 13 tombs in northwestern Peru "was like the discovery of King Tut," says Walter Alva, head archaeologist and director of El Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipán. The new bright red, pyramid-shaped museum displays artifacts excavated between 1987 and 2000 from the burial chamber of the Lord of Sipán, a king, warrior, and priest of the Moche, a pre-Inca civilization that flourished in northern Peru in the first millennium.
The shape of the building is meant to mimic the progress of the 13-year dig. Visitors enter at the top, descending into the galleries and encountering the treasures in the sequence archaeologists did. Among the highlights: gold-and-turquoise ear ornaments that depict the Lord of Sipán holding a gold scepter and a necklace of heads; a gilded copper figure with a man's head on a crab's body; bracelets and breastplates made of thousands of tiny beads and shells; and ceramic vessels decorated with human and animal motifs. It's a collection fit for a king.
Avda. Juan Pablo Vizcardo y Guzmán, Lambayeque; 51-74/283-978.
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