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Huaca Rajada

Every archaeologist dreams of finding a place like Huaca Rajada. Forgotten in the desert for over 1,700 years, Huaca Rajada was a sacred burial site for Moche nobility and royalty. When local looters in 1987 were found with lavish gold artifacts, it tipped off police that a large discovery might be buried in the nearby desert. An archaeologist, Walter Alva, was called to the site to examine the possibility that other tombs might exist, and when his team unearthed the “Lord of Sipan” and his tomb of jewels and gold, it was heralded as the greatest discovery of the last 50 years of archaeology.

Today, travelers can visit the archaeological site where excavations are still taking place. Though many of the larger artifacts and displays have been moved to Chiclayo museums (notably the Royal Tombs Museum of Sipan and the Brüning National Archaeological Museum), there is still a small museum on site that displays some of the findings.

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