A winged creature adorns an ear ornament worn by an elite Wari woman.
|The Wari lords have long been overshadowed by the later Inca. But in the 8th and 9th centuries A.D., the Wari built an empire that spanned much of present-day Peru. Their Andean capital, Huari, became one of the world's great cities.|
At its zenith, Huari boasted a population conservatively estimated at about 40,000 people. Paris, by comparison, had just 25,000 residents at the time.
|More than 60 skeletons were inside the tomb, including three Wari queens buried with gold and silver jewellery and brilliantly-painted ceramics. Many mummified bodies were found sitting upright - indicating royalty.|
|The archaeologists say the tomb was found in El Castillo de Huarmey, about 280km (175 miles) north of Lima. Forensic archaeologist Wieslaw Wieckowski says the way other bodies were positioned indicated human sacrifice.|
In all, the archaeological team has found the remains of the Wari queens, gold pieces, ceramics and skeletons about 1,300 years old.
"Six of the skeletons we found in the grave were not in the textiles. They were placed on the top of the other burials in very strange positions, so we believe that they were sacrifices," he said.
The Wari civilization thrived from the 7th to 10th centuries AD, conquering all of what is now Peru before a mysterious and dramatic decline.