An ancient ruler's tomb filled with gold has been discovered in Panama

Researchers have discovered an ancient ruler's tomb filled with golden treasures and sacrifices in an archaeological park in Panama. The tomb, estimated to be around 1,200 years old, marks the place where an elite chief was buried along with possibly dozens of people who died to accompany him to the "afterlife," the country's culture ministry said in a statement.

In the grave at the El Caño Archaeological Park, scientists discovered numerous gold treasures, including bracelets, two belts made of gold beads, crocodile-shaped earrings, gilded sperm whale tooth earrings, and round gold plates. Archaeologists also found earrings in the shape of a man and a woman, two bells, and a set of flutes made of bone.

The grave likely belonged to a high-ranking chief of the local Cokle culture, who was around 30 years old, the El Caño Foundation said in a Facebook post. The foundation also published a video of the treasures.

Dr Julia Mayo, director of the foundation and head of the archaeological project, said that in addition to the ruler, the tomb contained up to 31 other people who were "sacrificed to serve as companions".

Mayo said the excavation of the tomb has not yet been completed, so it is not possible to determine how many people were in it. She claims that the master was buried face down, which is typical of this type of burial, over the body of a woman.

Lynette Montenegro, national director of cultural heritage affairs, said excavations at the archaeological park began in 2022.

El Caño Archaeological Park was a necropolis that was built around 700 AD and abandoned around 1000 AD, the Ministry of Culture said. It is located in the province of Cocle, about 100 miles southwest of Panama City./BGNES