Undiscovered treasures from ancient Peru


The Paracas peninsula lies on the Peruvian coastline about 250 km from the capital, Lima. Some exceptional archaeological remains, mostly consisting of mummies and textiles, have been found, preserved by the dry climate of this semi-desert region. It was at the beginning of the 1920s that the Peruvian archaeologist Julio C. Tello started a series of excavations that resulted in the discovery of the Wari-Kayan necropolis. For more than 2000 years this necropolis had contained hundreds of ‘funerary packages’ or fardos, 429 of which were exhumed and transported to the museo national de Lima to be examined.

These fardos have been very carefully unwrapped and have revealed a wealth of textiles that has no known equivalent and includes hundreds of woven and embroidered pieces – shrouds and clothes – as well as ceramics and artefacts made of gold, stone and feather, which constitute funerary offerings.

This richly illustrated book offers a summary of the information available concerning these precious and unpublished artefacts. It retraces the stages involved in their rediscovery and analyses their symbolic content and technical aspects of their manufacture, while providing insight into their stylistic features.


216 pages • 23,5x27 cm • 39 €
Co-published by musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac/Flammarion 2008
ISBN : 9782081212824