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Talk about ancient girl power!

Archaeologists working in Peru have uncovered the skeleton of a woman believed to have been a high priestess of a mysterious culture that existed around 1,200 years ago. The pre-Hispanic remains were found in late July in an impressive burial chamber located in the country’s northern Chepén province, according to the Agence France-Presse.

The priestess seems to have been a leader of an ancient culture known as the Moche, or Mochia. Around 2,000 years ago, the Moche dominated the cultural landscape of what is now northern Peru, building large pyramids from mud bricks before disappearing without explanation. The name Moche comes from the site of Moche, an ancient capital city.

Researchers have spent years attempting to unravel the riddles of a society which left no written record. According to the BBC, illustrations show the Moche engaged in brutal bouts of ritualized combat that ended with the losers being sacrificed.

The priestess discovered in Chepén was buried with child and adult human sacrifices, AFP reports. She joins the list of several other priestesses who have been found in northern Peru in the past few years.

Ancient Priestess peru

View of one of two skeletons found in a burial chamber of the Moche culture, in the Cao religious compound in northern Peru.
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