Sunday, September 13, 2009

Peru promotes Super-Mummy to Aussie tourists

Only 145cm tall and in her twenties she gave birth to at least one child.

She reined power in Peru at a time when men dominated and she lay preserved for 1,700 years.

The recent discovery of the mummy La Señora de Cao or 'Lady of Cao,' will be highlighted in a campaign next month to attract Australian travellers to Peru.

Media and travel industry presentations about the Cao mummy and Peru as a tourist destination will take place in Sydney and Melbourne on the 20th, 21st and 22nd of October.

Leading the delegation from Peru will be Rosana Guinea, Asia and Oceania Market Coordinator for PromPeru – the country's national tourism board.  Also presenting will be the Peruvian Ambassador, Claudio de La Puente and Lyda Garcia from the Wiese Foundation – caretakers of the mummy and the newly opened Cao Museum.

"Peru inevitably evokes images of Machu Picchu, the Inca Empire and the Amazon jungle but it is also has many mysterious cultural and historical treasures, unique in the world." said Rosana Guinea. 

"Recent archaeological discoveries, like the Cao mummy, are drawing record visitors." she added.

Four years ago in the remote desert area of the Chicama Valley near Trujillo in northern Peru, archaeologist Regulo Franco found a perfectly preserved, 1,700 year old tattooed mummy with long braided hair.

She was the first known governess of Peru – a powerful female leader in what was thought to be a society ruled only by men.

Wrapped in thick layers of cotton, she was entombed with precious gold jewellery, crowns, and ceramics, as well as two large ceremonial war clubs.

She was buried in El Brujo (The Wizard) – a major religious centre for the Moche People between the first and seventh centuries AD. 

Alongside her was the body of a teenage girl with a noose around her neck, sacrificed to act as a servant in the afterlife.

"The discovery of La Señora de Cao gives us startling, new insights and confirms the elevated role of women in the Mochica world – a civilization predating the Incas." said Rosana Guinea.

The Cao museum was opened in April 2009.   Exhibits include the mummy and all her possessions as well as 5,000 year old weavings and ceramics.

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