National Geographic : 2006 Jun
Domain of the Dead High above the Pacific Ocean, an ornate enclosure holds four graves (below): the largest, belonging to the tattooed woman, from about A.D. 450; and others, still enigmatic, containing men. "This patio was the senora's mausoleum, built for her in a sacred space," says Regulo Franco. Those who came to honor her burned offerings and poured libations into a vessel set above her tomb. Beneath six courses of adobe, a cane scaffolding, a reed mat, and six tree trunks, archaeologists discovered the large bundle containing her body (right). At her side lay the skeleton of a sacrificed girl with a cord still around her neck. After carefully removing the bundle, workers carry it to a lab for unwrapping (far right).