The most important archaeological discovery in South America! And the biggest tomb in all of the Americas!
What Is It?
It might not look like much, but this is actually the biggest tomb in all of the Americas! This tomb is comparable to the Great Pyramids in Egypt.
In 1987, grave robbers were stealing several gold objects from the tomb but then had a disagreement with one another and reported each other to the police (some stories say that locals in the area saw it happening and reported it). In any case, the tomb was reported to authorities and excavation started.
“Some archaeologists consider this find to be one of the most important archaeological discoveries in South America in the last 30 years, as the main tomb was found intact and untouched by thieves. By 2007, fourteen tombs had been located and identified at Huaca Rajada.” (source)
It Doesn’t Look Like a Pyramid!
Well, that’s due to erosion. You see, the Sipán Tomb was made of mud bricks that were carefully placed in a certain pattern so that it would not crumble so easily if an earthquake occurred… I guess they were more concerned with earthquakes than rain… Nevertheless, it has rained a few times in the past 2000 years, so that is why the tomb simply looks like a mountain nowadays instead of an actual pyramid.
The Great Pyramids in Egypt were build of stone, so they did not wash away with years and years of rain.
This is a model of what the Sipán Tomb looked like originally:
What to See, Where, & How to Get There
The biggest city that is center of it all is Chiclayo.
…is where the artifacts go after they are found. The museum is located about 20 minutes north of Chiclayo, in the town of Lambayeque, and can be easily gotten to via taxi or tuk tuk. A taxi should not cost more than 15 Soles ($5.30), maybe even 10 Soles… A tuk tuk takes longer, but is cheaper. The entrance fee to the museum is 10 soles ($3.53) per person. No personal items are allowed in the museum (bags must be checked at the door), so I only have pictures of the outside of the museum, unfortunately…
The Actual Dig Site
…is where archaeologists are currently uncovering artifacts from the tomb. This is located about an hour east of Chiclayo. I took a local “bus” (it was really just a van) that cost only 3 Soles ($1) to go directly to the dig site. The station is difficult to explain how to get to (actually, I don’t even know the name of it), but just ask where you can take a van to “Huaca Rajada” (this is the name of the dig site). There’s also another museum (8 Soles) at the actual dig site, but I didn’t go into this one since I already went into the other…
Outside of the Tomb (Dig Site) & Surrounding Landscape
Artifacts (Around the Dig Site)
Vases, skeletons (humans, dogs, cows, etc.), gold, jewelry, etc.
Click to see where else he’s been!