An ancient tomb full of gold is discovered in Panama


An ancient tomb full of gold is discovered in Panama

A few meters underground lay a skeleton surrounded by pottery and adorned with gold. Burial in Panama went unnoticed for over a thousand years.

Archaeologists discovered the treasure-filled tomb during excavations at the El Caño Archaeological Park, Panama's Ministry of Culture said in a March 1 press release.

The pre-Hispanic burial contained an elite ruler from the local Coclé culture and dates to between 750 and 800 AD, archaeologists said.

The high-status man died "between 30 and 40 years old," the El Caño Foundation said in a March 1 Facebook post.

Inside the 1,200-year-old tomb, archaeologists discovered a treasure trove of gold artifacts, including several armours, two belts made of gold beads, bracelets, figure-shaped earrings, crocodile-shaped earrings, gold-covered teeth and gold plates.

Photos show some of these gold finds still shiny. Archaeologists also found bracelets and ornaments made of dog teeth, bone and ceramic pieces.

The burial also contained the remains of several other people who were sacrificed to accompany the deceased in the afterlife, the ministry said. Archaeologists do not know how many victims of the "sacrifice" for the nobleman are in the grave, but they estimated that there were between eight and 32 people.

Excavations and analyzes are ongoing, archaeologists said. El Caño Archaeological Park was used as a necropolis, or cemetery, from AD 700 to AD 1000, when the site was abandoned.

Another elite burial was discovered in the park in 2011, according to tourism website Visit Panama. The elite figure, identified as a chieftain, was buried with gold artifacts.