National Geographic : 1947 Apr
Finding the Tomb of a Warrior-God 479 probably belonged to the upper burial. An other sacrificial llama lay to the right of the foot of the major sarcophagus.* Signs of Human Sacrifice However, the most startling evidence of sacrifice were the distorted skeletons of two middle-aged women. One of them, with asso ciated offerings of pottery, was crowded in at the foot of the main tomb outside the large cane box. The other lay to the right and near the head of the sarcophagus (page 456). This last body had been crammed in be tween the large cane tomb and an ancient adobe house wall of Gallinazo times which had been encountered at this level by the Mochica grave diggers. The torsion of this skeleton was even more extreme than that of the bun dled female skeleton at the foot of the grave. Considering the general practice of the Mo chica to extend the bodies of their dead, it is hard to see the role of these two women as other than that of sacrificial victims who, by force or otherwise, had accompanied their very old and great priest-god into the afterworld. This may be speculation, but, in the light of further evidence inside the sarcophagus, it seems the most reasonable deduction. There was more than chance in this association. It was noon by the time we had fully re corded the story to this point and, despite our burning curiosity to see what the main sar cophagus contained, we stopped for lunch. Evans's long legs were able to extend from one side of the tomb to the other as the seem ingly endless photography and recording went on, but I knew my shorter ones were aching and weary. The workmen were used to our slow and apparently interminable approach to burials which they had uncovered for us, but this was not true of the only other witness of our resurrection of the Mochica god Ai apaec. This worthy, attached to a near-by hacienda, was an ancient range rider on a flea-bitten gray horse. For four months he had despaired of our sanity as he came upon us time and again while we were digging through refuse heap after refuse heap and gloating over pieces of broken pots. All the time the cynical one had been con vinced that really what we must be looking for was treasure. This time he had caught us flat-footed in what might well be a rich tomb and, absurdity upon absurdity, what did we do when at last we had the sarcophagus bare columnia Unriversity Exped,,ition, 1 1 of earth but still covered from the human eye? Offerings Included a Sacrificed Boy We sat down and ate lunch! In center at left are the ribs of the lad buried with * See "Camels of the Clouds," by W. H. Hodge, the great man, just as a boy accompanies the deity NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, May, 1946. Ai apaec in the carving near the top (Plate I).