In modern-day Peru, there is no female head of state, but it was a vastly different landscape 1,600 years ago when la Dama de Cao, an enigmatic female ruler only second to the gods, reigned over these lands. Nat Geo Mundo takes viewers on a journey through time exploring LA DAMA DE CAO: El Misterio de la Momia Tatuada and the lives of her subjects, part of the Moche Civilization.
Their everyday activities and her journey as leader are unearthed and depicted in intriguing detail, offering a glimpse into their vast technological capacity from the pyramids and temples built with earthquake-resistant techniques to pottery on par with the sculptures of the classical world.
When archaeologists first started excavating a Cao Viejo pyramid, they were certainly not expecting to make a find that would rival the discovery of King Tutankhamun of Egypt. After investigating and uncovering a tomb, they surfaced with 220 pounds of a funeral bundle to unwrap, layer by layer! Under protection in an excavation laboratory, they caught their first glimpse… the mummy of la Dama de Cao. From the lens of the camera that recorded the find to the interviews and re-enactments, Nat Geo Mundo takes you to the pyramid where la Dama de Cao was found complete with its five tombs, murals, drawings of fish, life, water, lunar animals and many other Moche symbols.
This ruler, referred to by many names: la Dama de Cao, la Señora de Cao and la Momia Tatuada, died at the tender age of 25 and is the first female leader historically known from the ancient Peruvian civilization. With the discovery in Cao Viejo, Peru revolutionized how the international archeological community viewed pre-Columbian societies – with women playing essential roles in politics, culture and religion. Short of the fear of their gods and El Niño climate pattern for which the Moche offered human sacrifices, this civilization appeared destined for perpetuity. Learn the precise details behind this discovery alongside experts and Nat Geo Mundo cameras when the show premiers on Thursday, September 27 at 8 PM ET/PT.