We can now look into the (reconstructed) face of the “Huarmey Queen,” a noblewoman who died roughly 1,200 years ago in what is now Peru. A weaver, she was buried with jewelry and other fancy accoutrements. She is my queen.
National Geographic reports that in 2012, archeologists Miłosz Giersz and Roberto Pimentel Nita discovered a tomb—El Castillo de Huarmey—that had once been part of a temple complex. They found the remains of 58 noblewomen from the Wari culture (which predated the Incas), among them the woman they dubbed the “Huarmey Queen.”
This queen was sent off to eternity in what can only be described as truly aspirational style: “Her body was found in its own private chamber, and it was surrounded with jewelry and other luxuries, including gold ear flares, a copper ceremonial axe, and a silver goblet,” according to National Geographic. They concluded she was a weaver, as her remains suggested she spent “most of her time sitting, though she used her upper body extensively.” The same could likely be said of bloggers; however, her decidedly more useful labors earned her more prestige:
Her expertise likely explains her elite status. Among the Wari and other Andean cultures of the time, textiles were considered more valuable than gold or silver, reflective of the immense time they took to make. Giersz says that ancient textiles found elsewhere in Peru may have taken two to three generations to weave.
The Huarmey Queen, in particular, must have been revered for her weaving; she was buried with weaving tools fashioned from precious gold. In addition, she was missing some of her teeth—consistent with the decay that comes with regularly drinking chicha, a sugary, corn-based alcoholic beverage that only the Wari elite were allowed to drink.
And now archaeologist Oscar Nilsson has painstakingly reconstructed her face. We should all look so great after a millennium.