The Corpus Callosum

King of Bling

his is a photo of a mask from an ancient Peruvian tomb.  The mask
is about 1,500 years of., made of copper and seashells, among other


It is one of the front-page (web page, that is) photos at National
Geographic.  The caption follows:

April 10, 2009–Found in a treasure-filled tomb of the
Moche culture in Peru, this 1,500-year-old gilded-copper-and-seashell
funerary mask was one of two that shielded the face of the so-called
Lord of Ucupe. The tomb was discovered in June by a team co-led by
archaeologist Steve Bourget of the University of Texas. (Read full

As in his tomb, the Lord of Ucupe in life would have been covered
nearly head to toe in shining metal, so as to dazzle and distract his
subjects, Bourget said. “This is the king of bling, literally.”

–Ted Chamberlain
–Photograph courtesy Dr. Steve Bourget

It’s from a site about 475 north of Lima, Peru.  It was found in a
structure that originally had been a stepped pyramid, made of
adobe.  It has eroded quite a bit.  Some photos of the area
are available at another
.  Additional information is available at the UT Austin
website.  There is an extensive field report available here.
(note: it’s a 35.5MB PDF, and it’s in Spanish, but the pictures are


  1. #1 stumpy
    April 14, 2009

    In related news, I see the NYT is reporting today that Michael Jackson’s personal bling trove is going to hit the auction block.

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