Both sites include tombs built for prominent figures of the Moche civilisation, which is characterised by complex construction techniques and works of art.

Nobility

The team's findings include a body wearing gold-coloured copper funeral masks and wrapped in reed, as well as gold-coloured copper crowns, earrings, nose rings, necklaces of silver, seashells and technologically sophisticated objects made from copper.

The researchers also found remains of a young man nearby and animals thought to be alpacas or llamas.

The remains most likely belonged to nobility, Walter Alva, famed Peruvian archaeologist who discovered the Sipan site, said.

"Some elements like scepters and crowns of gold are those that identify people of the highest hierarchical level," he said.

Alva said part of the excavation is going to conclude in July, but the team hopes to resume work in December.