Skip to comments.Ancient pre-Inca tomb found in northern Peru
Posted on 07/13/2012 4:24:58 PM PDT by csvset
Archeologists said Friday they have discovered a tomb about 1,200 years old, from the pre-Inca Sican era, in northern Peru.
Human remains and jewelry were found July 4 along with the tomb, likely that of a member of the aristocracy of the Sican or Lambayeque elite, head researcher Carlos Wester La Torre told AFP.
A gold earflap, a silver-plated crown, and some 120 silver and copper ornaments that served as emblems of power, along with 116 pieces of pottery and seashells were found in the tomb.
The tomb was located in a burial chamber some six meters (20 feet) deep in the Chotuna-Chornancap sanctuary near Chiclayo, at the same location where the remains of a Sican priestess were found in October.
"This discovery is very important because we now know one of the elite classes of Lambayeque culture," said Wester La Torre, speaking from Chiclayo, capital of the Lambayeque region.
The Sican culture, also referred to as the Lambayeque culture, worshipped the Sican Lord. It emerged between 700 and 750 AD, remaining in force until 1375, reaching its high point between 900 and 1100.
At that time, there were about seven to eight "Sican lords" representing heavenly powers on Earth, complete with masked face, upturned eyes and pointed ears.
A grave of the Sican pre-Inca culture, dating back 1,200 years, was discovered by a group of archaeologists in the region of Lambayeque, north of Peru. Human remains and jewelry were found July 4 along with the tomb, likely that of a member of the aristocracy of the Sican or Lambayeque elite.
GGG Peru ping
A Sican Lord looks remarkably like a dismantled small proto-Dalek! http://www.ilatintravel.com/peru_guide/chiclayo/photo_sican_museum.htm
“...a silver-plated crown...”
THAT is interesting! How did they do it?
One startling discovery in ancient Sumer’s ruins was the existance of batteries. Crude batteries using wine vinegar as the acid, but real.
This battery-pwered electricity was used by Sumerian craftsmen to plate precious metal on copper.
Not a lot of details in the article on how plating was done by the Sican’s, but it is courious nonetheless.
“.....a silver-plated crown...”
Horsefeathers! Electroplating was impossible until electricity had been harnessed, and that was NOT 1200 years ago.
Like a lot of things, it was probably called something else ~ like ‘juice’.
I know nothing about metal working, but couldn’t something made from metal that melts at a higher temp than silver be dipped in molted silver?
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
As far as I know, the pottery produced and used by the Dalek culture did not have bridge handles (I assume because Daleks don’t have hands.) Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!
Brazing involves using two pieces of a harder metal and heat on the edges or at the end, like with a wire. You heat it up in a small spot, then bring the softer metal near it, heat it, and let it flow onto the object with the edge or ends you want 'soldered'. Capillary action will suck the molten metal into the area, or along the edge.
In ancient times the harder metal was COPPER, or copper mixed with tin or some other amalgam, so it was harder, smoother, shinier or maybe more flexible.
You would use a tinning process to spread silver or gold evenly on the surface. Brazing would usually be restricted to copper or silver wires which would be gold plated.
Variations on a theme could be performed by simply turning the gold into gold leaf ~ usually 1 or 2 molecules thick. You'd lay that out on a copper or bronze surface, heat the copper, the gold would "weld" itself.
There are other ways.
Plus, they are expensive, so you'd have a pot over there that was filled with $50 million worth of gold and you're going to dip a shield in there ~ right!?
No, you are going to figure out how to do this on the cheap ~ a little firewood, some fans, couple of slaves or chillun' assisting you, and you'll just heat up some hammered copper sheets a little bit ~ then melt a little bit of silver, and spread it out with a small heated stone of some sort ~maybe granite or obsidion.
You could cover huge areas a little bit at a time. And, best of all, you wouldn't have to take the national gold supply and put it at risk in the hands of a traveling goldsmith!
It was probably gilded, not plated. The Lambayeque culture was very advanced in metallurgical knowledge, like their neighbors the Moche. The Moche probably were more advanced but there appears to have been extensive exchange of metal-working technology in that entire region.
This is from a scientific paper on the Moche:
"Metallurgical studies of a group of gilt copper objects from Loma Negra have shown that the gilding was achieved by an electrochemical replacement plating process in which gold and silver are dissolved in an aqueous solution of corrosive minerals. The precious metals are then plated from solution onto the copper objects. Moche metal craftsmen can now be credited with having developed the two most sophisticated of Andean gilding procedures: depletion gilding and electrochemical replacement plating."
Those people were damned smart. I've seen an exhibition of their gold and silver work and it was amazing. I'm a silver and gold-smith so I'm not exactly unfamiliar with the topic.
Thank you, very interesting. Certainly sounds as though the ancients could easily achieve gold and silver plating or appearing methods without modern technology.
You could dip it but that wouldn't necessarily result in plating. Getting metals to bond to each other is very complicated, involving the use of fluxes and sometimes black candles, incantations and Black Rites (I joke of course, but trying to solder gold decorations to silver can result in Very Impolite Incantations!).
Copper melts at 1981 F. Fine (pure) gold melts at 1945 F. Fine (pure) silver melts at 1762 F.
You can quickly see that dipping silver into gold would be a problem. Dipping copper into gold would require quick reflexes to avoid melting the copper. It wouldn't "plate" anyhow, without the correct fluxes. I don't know if such fluxes even exist.
Consider that these people had no means of refining precious metals. They were usually working with unknown alloys of gold and silver (electrum or tumbaga), as mined from natural sources, which had a wide range of melting temps.
All you'd need to do is heat the copper to the point where gold flour could be brushed across it.
Some of the gold would stick to the copper. Then, using maybe NaCl or stomach acid you could etch any stray copper off the surface leaving behind nothing but a very thin gold layer.
I can see this done with little more than a standard stone circle fire place. Should have been well within the range of technological feats of even the more primitive North American tribes.
NOTE: back in the late Neolithic 'they' began to acquire gold flour through some very simple but time consuming means ~ it makes a wonderful material for decoration.
Right now I could use a couple of pounds of gold flour.
Once you have copper plate available you can make jewelry of all kinds ~ and one thing just leads to another once you figure out silver, and then gold.
It isn't necessary to bring these materials up to their melting point to WELD then some way or the other ~ it's still pretty hot stuff, but we are not talking about late neolithic folks using molten copper.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.