Photo: Agencia Andina
Back in October 2009, Walter Alva, the preeminent archaeologist of Northern Peru, decided to focus his attention on the El Chorro archaeological zone, with little expectation of making any significant finds, according to daily El Comercio.
The site, located in Pomalca, seven miles (12 kilometers) from Chiclayo had been overrun by scores of squatter families, and thoroughly pitted and sacked by the looters Alva has spent his long career battling against.
But much to his team’s surprise, within two months they were able to identify and excavate 33 intact tombs filled with artifacts of ceramic, wood, bone, textiles and metal, including some of the earliest known copper metallurgy from that region of Peru.
Of the roughly 600 artifacts recovered, 127 went on display last week for a free, two-month exhibit in Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum in Lambayeque.