After the fall of the Moche Empire around 700 AD, the inhabitants of the Lambayeque region formed a culture now known as Sicán. Exceptionally skilled in metallurgy as well as a unique form of ceramics, the Sicán metal workers are credited with bringing the Bronze Age to northern Peru. Though massive drought would eventually bring the Sicán civilization to its knees, the ceramics, metal work, and tombs they left behind are intriguingly displayed at the Sicán National Museum in the town of Ferreñafe.
When visiting the museum, not only will you find exquisite art pieces forged by Sicán craftsmen, but you will also find artifacts that point to the existence of trade with faraway neighbors. Blue stones, for example, exhibit trade with neighboring civilizations from as far away as Chile, and snails and shells found in Sicán tombs have been traced to the beaches of Ecuador.
Also of note when visiting the museum is the re-creation of a tomb where a man was found buried in the fetal position with his head facing down towards the floor. The position, it’s believed, was meant to mimic the process of being “birthed” into the afterlife, and is one of the many cultural curiosities on display in this modern museum.
The Sicán National Museum is located 12 miles outside of Chiclayo in the town of Ferreñafe. Opening hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and there is an entrance fee of 10 Nuevo Soles ($3.25) for adults and 1.5 Nuevo Soles for children ($.50).