T he Se単ora de Cao The Tattooed Mummy
he last excavations carried out in the Huaca Cao pyramid resulted in the discovery of a-1800-year-old-ceremonial ground (Moche 1) built with the only intention to perform the burial of a Moche royal character from that period. The death bundle found within the grounds was 6 feet (1.80 m) long, 3 feet (90 cm) wide, and 2 feet (60 cm) tall. Found 10 feet (3 m) underneath the ground, sitting in the middle of the pyramid, this bundle did not get wet from rainwater or flood, nor did any alien elements made their way in during the time it remained buried. A
multidisciplinary team of archeologists, physical anthropologists, textile conservators, metal curators and doctors participated for a whole year in the debundling of this burial. They finally got to discover the mummified body of a young woman, in perfect preservation conditions, both of the skin and hair and even some other soft organs, also showing tattoos in different parts of the body. A series of coincidences allowed for the preservation of the
Se単ora de Cao: the covering of her body in cinnabar (mercury sulphur), -substance that prevented decomposition of her body by inhibiting insects egg-laying- and, the fact that it was placed in the middle of the pyramid which prevented the access of rainwater and undersurface water; the result: the only mummy in almost 2000 years found in perfect conditions accessories that adorned the burial and the structure of the of preservation, fact that provides the scientists with an unlimited amount of information, inexistent to this date.
Based on the study of the mummy in addition to the ceremonial ground, it may be deducted that the Se単ora de Cao gave birth at least one time, died approximately at 20 years of age, and was the she-governor during her period, a new revelation since it is the first time that a female governor is found in a pre-Inca culture. Construction of the El Brujo Site Museum should be ready by the second semester of 2008 where the pieces found during these 18 years of excavations will be displayed.
entouré de mystère
ore than 5 000 years of continuous human occupation makes “El Brujo” one of a kind; from the very first nomads, hunters and collectors, up to this date. Its 247 acre-site (100 hectares) is sitting today on a plateau six meters above the adjacent lands level which, millions of years ago, used to be a sand bank that made it so “magical” for the old settlers. The Moche culture (0 to 800 ad.) built two pyramids and occupied El Brujo for more than 700 years.
Located 70 Km. north of Trujillo, Peru, it has been studied for the last 18 years by the Wiese Foundation and the National Institute of Culture - INC. Thanks to the current covenant subscribed between the INC and the Wiese Foundation, a 26 900 sq. feet (2 500 m2) roof has been built, using tensile structures, which has allowed the recovery of the main square and the opening to tourism in May 2006.
El Brujo Trujillo
El Brujo is located at the site of Magdalena de Cao, 45 minutes away from the city of Trujillo.
Published on Nov 11, 2010