Miss Cuddlywumps reports on a recent archaeological find in Peru
Archaeologists in Peru recently unearthed what appears to be a set of 1,500-year-old ceremonial cat’s claws, possibly used by their owner in ritual combat. The find was made during excavations at Huaca de la Luna (Temple of the Moon) in Trujillo, Peru. The claws were discovered in the tomb of an elite man, possibly a ruler or nobleman in the Moche culture (~AD 100–700). NBCNews reported that the claws may have been part of a costume worn in a ceremonial fight; the winner of this fight would keep the outfit, while the unfortunate loser would be killed. Also found in the tomb were a copper scepter, bronze earrings, a mask, and some ceremonial ceramics.
A jaguar, jungle cat of South America and, possibly,
the cat whose claws the ceremonial claws were
modeled after. Photo by USFWS
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Obviously these claws were not made to resemble just any old cat’s claws. Even the most vicious house tabby does not possess weapons like this. I think they were fashioned after jaguar claws. I am not basing this thought on any actual evidence other than the fact that jaguars are native to Peru, and they are large, noble, and rather scary.
[Please blame She of Little Talent for the absence of any pictures of the actual claws in this post. She was too cheap to pay for the photos and too honest to steal them. Poor old SoLT.]