Ancient Sican culture surgeon’s tomb uncovered in Lambayeque

April 13, 2022

Archaeologists have uncovered the tomb of a Sican culture surgeon in the Lambayeque region of Peru. The surgeon was buried in a lotus flower position sitting cross legged. He was surrounded by knives, needles and tumis. The tomb is dated at 900-1,050 years old. The tomb was in a ceremonial temple. He wore a golden mask and he was a specialist in cranial trepanations. This procedure was done to remove hematomas and remove fractured skull pieces incurred in combat.

The tomb artifacts included a golden mask with feathered eyes, a bronze breastplate, and surgical instruments such as tumis or knives with a crescent-shaped edge (made of a mixture of gold and silver), dozens of knives with wooden handles, awls and needles. The bark of an unknown tree was found that would be one of the plant species used as an analgesic or infusion.

The tomb is in the Huaca Las Ventanas which began excavations in 2010-11. The Sican culture spanned 700-1375 CE. has the report here;