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Archaeologists Uncover 1,200-Year-Old Gold-Laden Lord’s Tomb

In 2024, archaeologists working in Panama discovered a 1,200-year-old gold-filled tomb believed to belong to a pre-Hispanic royal family.

The tomb was discovered in the El Caño Archaeological Park in Panama's Cocle department and is believed to be the burial place of an “important Cocle lord.” according to From a press release from the Panama Ministry of Culture. This person is thought to have lived from the late 750s to the early 800s, and was a very rich and wealthy man considering the vast treasures he buried.

Most of the items found with this flamboyant man were pottery, but there was also plenty of jewelry and gold. “2 belts of spherical gold beads, 4 bracelets, 2 humanoid earrings (male and female), [and] A press release states that other items found include “double crocodile-shaped earrings.” Another five of his earrings made from sperm whale teeth and with gold covers were discovered, along with a set of gold plates, bells, bracelets and a bone flute, along with additional historical and cultural excavations from the site. This is just a small part of the legacy.

video share A Facebook post shows the mess of materials archaeologists found at the site. The person buried with these items was clearly of high status, and the body was placed face down on top of the woman's corpse, according to the tradition of the time, according to a press release. (Related: 1,000-year-old drug container discovered by archaeologists)

Exploration of El Caño is expected to continue through the rest of the year, but who knows what other amazing pieces may emerge from the mud? The site was abandoned about 1,000 years ago, and little is known about the people who ruled the area at the time. It is hoped that further analysis will shed light on this forgotten chapter in human history.

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