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Graverobbers and Life After Death

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The Sipan burial site - a glorious tomb
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If you were to set out on a World Trek like I have, you would need to take some clothes, food, accessories, and some other Trekkers with you. So try to imagine just what would you need to take if you were to journey to...the next world? How about a couple llamas, or a guard with amputated feet? These are just a couple of the things the people who lived here 1,500 years ago left with one of their rulers when he died, and I was able to see it first hand at the fascinating site of Sipan.

Sipan, which means "House of the Moon," was a very important town with a big pyramid in the middle. It was deep within this large pyramid where the leader, known as "The Lord of Sipan," was buried.

These pyramids are made with thousands of bricks that are the same shape and stamped with a mark of the workers who made them. The sides of the pyramids were then covered over with mud so that they would appear very smooth.

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Can you identify the lord, the guard, the wife, and the child?
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The Lord of Sipan's skeleton was in the center of this pyramid inside his coffin, which is made of cane, lay all that was left of his majestic clothing, jewelery, and decorations. In his hands was a solid gold object that looked almost like a gavel. He also had a golden nose piece and large plates of gold worn on his head or hung from his chest. But he wasn't alone in the pyramid!

Alongside of him were coffins containing the remains of a guard, whose feet had been cut off, three young women, three servants, a child, a dog, and two llamas! I guess they didn't want him to be lonely on his journey. Buried with them were jewelry made of gold, silver, and copper. The tomb also held hundreds of pots. At the time of his death, they were filled with enough food and drink to last him until he reached his final destination.

When the tomb was first discovered about 10 years ago grave robbers came and stole a lot of the pots and jewels. When the police came to protect the tomb, one grave robber was even shot. But now it is peaceful and I met many friendly people who work here now. I can't wait to see more of these ruins in other places.

Kevin

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