Ancient Ruler's Tomb, Gold Trove Found in Bolivia Pyramid
A 1,300-year-old skeleton buried with a cache of gold artifacts has been found in a Bolivian pyramid, archaeologists say.
The remains are believed to belong to an elite member of the ancient Tiwanaku culture, which thrived on the shores of Lake Titicaca from about A.D. 400 to 1200 (see Bolivia map).
Scientists found the bones and offerings this spring in the upper reaches of the Akapana pyramid, a heavily looted temple experts say is one of the largest pre-Hispanic structures in South America.
The condition of the artifacts and the skeleton's location inside the pyramid lead researchers to believe the individual held high status.
"We believe the individual was a priest or a government figure in the Tiwanaku civilization," Danilo Villamor Encinas, an official with Department of Archaeology of Bolivia, said.
That place (Tiwanaku) could be a gold mine (figurative) for archaeology. The engineer who did most of the surveying data collection in the Valley of the Kings (John "Ruther-Hotep" Rutherford) was thinking seriously about going there to start mapping the place.