Sican tomb unearthed in Peru

From BBC News:

“Archaeologists have unearthed an ancient tomb which they believe is from the Sican culture in Peru.
The burial seems to belong to someone very important from the Lambayeque elite, approximately from the 12th century after Christ.
The researchers hope that the find will help them to learn more about the life of this person.”

I’ve heard of the Inca and the Nazca, but who were the Sican? To Wikipedia!

“The Sican (also Sicán) culture is the name that archaeologist Izumi Shimada gave to the culture that inhabited what is now the north coast of Peru between about AD 750 and 1375. According to Shimada, Sican means “temple of the moon”.”

This figure, according to National Geographic, is the Lord of Sican.

“An ancient ceremonial knife called a tumi (pictured in the Brüning National Archaeological Museum) shows a Lambayeque figure sitting on a throne—just like the throne recently discovered at the Naylamp temple in Peru, archaeologists said in January 2010.

These crescent-shaped knives used by the Lambayeque culture bore the likeness of a deity called the Lord of Sicán. The richly clothed figure is generally shown with winged shoulders and holding a sphere, representing the moon, and a knife, which is associated with power and sacrificial rituals, archaeologists say.”

“The sophisticated Lambayeque culture, also known as the Sicán, were best known as skilled irrigation engineers until being conquered in A.D. 1375 by the Chimú, a civilization also based along Peru’s arid northern coast.”


I am diggin’ these faces. The squat shape of the face, the teardrop shape of the eyes. The horizontal grimace of the mouth. They are fascinating to me. The figures remind me of the shape of South Park characters. Perhaps the squat shape indicates grumpiness to me. But I bet they’re supposed to be intimidating. They do give the appearance of anger and the mouths appear viscous, especially the center image. They also remind me of south east asian imagery with the angled eyes, hammered gold and earrings, like this Jinsha mask:


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