The reconstructed face of the Señor de Sipán, supreme ruler of the prehispanic culture Mochica and first known great ruler in ancient Peru, was unveiled yesterday.
The ancient ruler reigned on the north coast during the third century AD. Alive long before the Incas reached those lands, he enjoyed good health before his death between 40 and 55 years of age, according to forensic analyzes made on his skull by the Brazilian team of specialists who recreated his face.
The result of the research was presented yesterday by the Peruvian archaeologist Walter Alva, who discovered the tomb of the Lord of Sipan in 1987, by designer Cícero Moraes and forensic odontologist Paulo Miamoto, both members of the Brazilian NGO Team of Forensic Anthropology and Odontology (Ebrafol).
The skull was found fragmented and deformed due to the weight of the many riches and offerings that were placed on his grave, 1,700 years ago.
The researchers used computer software to assemble the skull, applying forensic techniques and adding the surrounding tissues. Some variants were calculated, such as the size and shape of the nose.
Walter Alva said “with the skull being so damaged, it has been a real challenge reaching the end result,” the skull was “severely affected and [had] severe fractions”.
Moraes announced that the replica with the face of the Lord of Sipan and assembled skull will be 3D printed to be put in display in the Museum of the Royal Tombs of Sipán, which preserves the original remains and offerings found in the tomb of the ruler, with fifteen other grave sites corresponding to the members of his royal court.
The tomb of the Lord of Sipán was discovered 29 years ago by a team of archaeologists led by Alva in the area of Sipán, located near the city of Chiclayo, in Lambayeque, about 860 kilometers north of Lima.