|Max Uhle was one of the few archaeologists to have uncovered unlooted tombs of ancient Andean nobles. In the Ica Valley, he found burials of seven nobles from the Late Intermediate Period (900-1400 A.D.) and the Late Horizon (ca. 1430-1534 A.D.), the time of the Incan Empire. Four of the Incan burials belonged to nobles entitled to use gold. Inside these tombs, cut into deep clay, were an array of high-status goods, as well as the remains of wives and retainers. These Uhle was able to compare with the twenty commoner graves, offering us important insights into the class structure of late Ica society.
Excavating ceremonial staffs from a rich Inca period burial. Peru, Ica Valley, between Chulpaca and Tate, burial Td-8. Photo by Max Uhle, 1901 (15-1901).