Photograph by Daniel Giannoni. With eyes wide open, a painted Wari lord stares out from the side of a 1,200-year-old ceramic flask found with the remains of a Wari queen. Giersz and his colleagues think the Wari may have displayed the body of the queen after death in a royal ancestor cult.
Heather Pringle, at National Geographic, shares this about the photos (click on any image to go to the source) from this rare find:
The Wari forged South America’s earliest empire between 700 and 1000 A.D., and their Andean capital boasted a population greater than that of Paris at the time. Today, Peru’s Minister of Culture will officially announce the discovery of the first unlooted Wari imperial tomb by a team of Polish and Peruvian researchers. In all, the archaeological team has found the remains of 63 individuals, including three Wari queens.
Photograph by Daniel Giannoni. The newly discovered tomb contained many rare treasures, including this drinking cup carved from alabaster. It is the only such cup known from ancient Andean sites.
Photograph by Patrycja Przadka Giersz. As archaeologists dug in one side chamber, they unearthed the remains of a Wari queen and several regal offerings, including a brilliantly painted ceramic flask (right) and an alabaster drinking cup (left).
Photograph by Daniel Giannoni. Images of winged, supernatural beings adorn a pair of heavy gold-and-silver ear ornaments that a high-ranking Wari woman wore to her grave in the newly discovered mausoleum at El Castillo de Huarmey in Peru.