Peru reveals replica of face of ancient female ruler

She died some 1,700 years ago, and is believed to have ruled over a desert valley in ancient Peru.

But a glimpse of the former priestess, the Lady of Cao, can now be seen in a replica of her face.

Using modern technology, the replica was based on the Lady of Cao's skull structure and took 10 months to create.

Culture Minister Salvador del Solar said the project's goal is to bring the world closer to one of Peru's best archaeological finds and remind Peruvians of their rich cultural heritage.

"Today I want to share all the enthusiasm and pride with the people who have reconstructed the image of the Lady of Cao. We can now show the world her face, a face that Peruvians see ourselves in."

The discovery of the Lady of Cao's mummified remains in 2005 shattered the belief that the ancient Moche society was patriarchal.

Several Moche female mummies have been found since in graves with objects denoting a high political and religious standing.

The Lady of Cao is a reminder of the complex societies that thrived in what is now Peru, long before the Inca empire dominated the Andes or Europeans arrived in the Americas.