Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Archaeologists in Peru have discovered a 3,000-year-old tomb at the Pacopampa Archaeological Complex, in the Peruvian highlands. That tomb believed to contain the remains of a powerful shaman near the town of Cajamarca.
Peru’s Ministry of Culture said in a statement that the shaman’s body was buried with a jaguar stamp. It is possible that this object was made for the needs of death rituals for body painting.
Archaeologists also found decorative ceramics in the tomb. The shaman’s face is covered with red cinnabar, a natural ore that is difficult to obtain because it comes from the mountains.
“Cinnabar is believed to have originated in the central Andean highlands, and we believe that only the elite could obtain or use it through long-distance trade,” Yuji Seki, an archaeologist at Japan’s National Museum of Ethnology and co-director of archeology told LiveScience.
Seki suspects that the body is a shaman who can manipulate the powers of jaguars, snakes, and birds of prey. The shaman is likened to a spiritual figure who can provide advice and intercession for people who come to him, because he is believed to have the power to connect the unseen and real worlds.
People in the past may have relied heavily on dukuns for guidance or healing, and dukuns may use spiritual powers to help them.
“In other words, he must have had the ability to become an intermediary between the spiritual world and the real world. The stamp found in his tomb may have been a symbol of authority,” said Seki.
The team has not conducted any radiocarbon tests, but the artefact’s style matches the designs of other artifacts found in the region that are around 3,000 years old.
Archaeologists who were not involved in the find called it an interesting find but warned that it was too early to call this individual a shaman.