|She died in her twenties some 1,700 years ago, and is believed to have ruled over a desert valley in ancient Peru where her elaborately tattooed body was buried with weapons and gold. But a glimpse of the former priestess, the Lady of Cao, can now be seen in a replica of her face. Using 3D imaging technology and forensics archaeology, the replica, based on the Lady of Cao's skull structure, was unveiled in 2017.|
The discovery of the Lady of Cao's mummified remains in 2005 shattered the belief that the ancient Moche society, which occupied the Chicama Valley from about 100 to 700 A.D., was patriarchal. Several Moche female mummies have been found since in graves with objects denoting high political and religious standing. Archaeologists believe the Lady of Cao died due to complications of childbirth.