The Noble Young Man of Huaca Rajada

TThe Noble Young Man of Huaca Rajada - Peruhe existence of this tomb was well known since 2005 but, due to low budget, the archaeologists had to suspend the excavations that they began that year. They had to cover the tomb to avoid its deterioration. In June of this year, excavations were resumed and only months ago was the body found. Since then, the studies of this young Moche have not ceased.

Luis Millones has taken a bone sample from the right foot of the man and has sent it to a laboratory in the United States. There, DNA and carbon-14 studies will be carried out to determine the exact age and the degree of blood ties that this character may have with other bodies found in the other tombs of the Huaca Rajada-Sipán.
The remains will be removed from the tomb to analyse thoroughly the skeleton and determine if there are any signs of violence or any other evidence that might suggest the cause of death.

The man responsible for the archaeological complex of Huaca Rajada-Sipán, Luis Chero Zurita, will try to solve this mystery in the laboratories of the complex’s museum.

Who was he?
Chero’s investigations could also reveal something else about this young Moche noble. The specialist believes that what was found along with his body in the grave will give us an idea of who he was. The man had a ceramic vase in each hand and on the floor, other ceramic pieces in the shape of owls and a golden copper mask with the same figure were found.  This suggests religious functions.

“Similar objects featuring owls were found in “tomb 14” which belonged to a warrior-priest. There are also other objects like the tip of a metal spear which reveals that he also carried out military functions,” explains Chero.

Origins of a Dynasty
The investigator said that the finding of “tomb 15” has a special meaning for archaeology because it exposes that there exists a cultural occupation in Huaca Rajada-Sipán that goes back to the early Mochica phase, to the origins of a culture that never ceases to surprise us. 

“The fine ceramics found in the mausoleum suggest that this is a foundation grave. This may have given birth to the Sipán dynasty,” concluded Chero.

Nonetheless, the archaeologists that work in Huaca Rajada-Sipán have other hypotheses. Some think that the young Moche may be a companion to a main burial which could be nearby. It is also thought that, since the remains of this man were positioned in a different manner than those of every other tomb in the complex, this may be a character of a higher rank, like a new and more important Moche governor. There is still an entire world waiting to be exposed.

The Noble Young Man of Huaca Rajada - PeruNew Finding Will be exhibited in 2010
The skeleton and objects found in “tomb 15” will be exhibited next year in the Huaca Rajada-Sipán Museum.

Approximately 40 thousand tourists have arrived at the archaeological zone this year. The Huaca Rajada-Sipán is in the district of Zaña in Lambayeque.

80 people who live in the towns near Huaca Rajada and Sipán participate in the excavation works that the specialists carry out in the complex.

Currently, there are studies being made about the two pyramids that are found in this notorious Moche complex.

Translated by Diana Schwalb