An ancient Peruvian tomb was unearthed on Thursday, giving archaeologists insight into an empire whose rule of the Andes predated that of the Inca’s.

"For the first time in the history of archeology in Peru we have found an imperial tomb that belongs to the Wari Empire and culture," Milosz Giersz (pictured), the lead archaeologist on the dig, said, according to MSN.

Earlier this year, archaeologists first discovered the mausoleum located 185 miles north of Lima at El Castillo de Huarme. Within it, they’ve uncovered 1,300-year-old gold pieces, ceramics and 63 skeletons – most of which belonged to royal Wari women.

"The women were buried with finely engraved ear pieces made of precious metals that once were believed to be used only by men," archaeologist Patrycja Przadk said.

The Wari are thought to be the first people in what is now the Peruvian Andes to unify disparate tribes into an organized network. They would have ruled the area betwenn 600 and 1100 A.D. The Inca Empire was in existence from 1438–1533 A.D.

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