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Peru's tomb discovery could change knowledge of Incas

posted 24 Feb 2011, 11:44 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 24 Feb 2011, 11:47 ]

Peru unveils discovery of nine tombs from Wari tribe that could knowledge of Incan empire.

CUZCO, PERU (FEBRUARY 24, 2011) CH N - Peru displayed on Thursday (February 24) in Cuzco parts of the contents of nine recently discovered tombs of important historical figures who dominated jungle regions hundreds of years ago, a discovery that may change the way historians see the Incan empire.

One of the tombs contains the belongings of a high-ranking Wari member, a tribe that had dominated the

Incas before the latter formed an empire that spread from present-day Chile and into Ecuador and Colombia.

The funeral remains -- a silver chest plate, a gold necklace, and a bronze ax -- were found in the Cuzco district of Vilcabamba, place that was thought to be an exclusive belonging to the Inca, whose kingdom reached its apogee in the 15th century shortly before the Spanish conquest.

The pieces were displayed to the public for the first time Thursday at the cultural center in Cuzco, the city that once formed the heart of the Incan empire.

Irina Bokova, a cultural representative for the United Nations, congratulated archeologists on the find.

"I want to congratulate them. I know it's tough work to keep doing, to persist, but it's very important to show this to the Peruvian people," she said.

Scattered inside the tombs researchers found some 100 ceramic pieces, 223 silver beads and 17 gold beads.

They also found a silver chest plate which they have attributed to a man they are calling the Lord of Wari.

Cuzco's cultural minister Juan Julio Garcia compared said it was the most important find since the discovery of the mythical Machu Picchu ruins.

"Today, along with representative from the UN, we are presenting the discovery of the Lord of Wari, (found) in Espiritu Pampa (archeologocal site), in Vilcabamba. This discovery is, for us, the most important in the last few years. After Machu Picchu, I think it's the most important discovery, which we can now show after three months of work on the pieces," Garcia said.

The discovery of Machu Picchu will turn 100 years old in July, when Peru plans to hold a more complete exhibition of the recent discoveries.