The Bruning Museum - History and Facts | History Hit

The Bruning Museum

Lambayeque, Lambayeque, Peru

The Brüning Museum has a varied set of exhibits from Peru's history, focusing primarily on the pre-Incas.

Antara Bate

17 May 2021
Image Credit: Bernard Gagnon CC

About The Bruning Museum

The Brüning Museum (Museo Arqueológico Nacional Brüning) in Lambayeque, is an archaeological museum with a varied set of exhibits from Peruvian history, focusing primarily on the pre-Incas. One of the highlights is known as the Gold Room or Sala de Oro.

Brüning Museum history

When it opened in 1966, the Brüning Museum became northern Peru’s preeminent museum specialising in pre-Hispanic cultures. The museum was named after Hans Heinrich Brüning, a German engineer and amateur ethnographer who lived and studied in the region in the late 19th and 20th centuries. Brüning amassed an impressive range of artefacts from the Inca, Chimú, Moche, Lambayeque, Vicus and Chavín cultures which are displayed in the museum.

The museum also houses later discoveries by professional archaeologists. The displays trace developments in technology and culture, exhibiting items such as mummies, ceramics and textiles, some of which date back up to 5,000 years.

In 2002 the Brüning Museum lost its status as northern Peru’s leading museum with the opening of the Museum of the Royal Tombs of Sipán a few blocks away. The new museum housed what had been the Brüning’s most popular exhibit, a vast collection of artefacts from a Moche tomb.

Brüning Museum today

The Brüning Museum now contains more than 1,500 pieces. It is divided into distinct sections, such as the ground floor Brüning Room and the spectacular Gold Room. Other levels include ceramics, textiles and ceremonial items pertaining to the cultures mentioned above, while the top two levels show the cultural evolution of the region from the distant past to the present day.

The museum also houses a fascinating newer exhibit dedicated to the tomb of the Priestess of Chornancap, a Sicán noblewoman and governor whose burial spot loaded with intricate gold and silver artefacts was discovered in 2011 at the Chotuna-Chornancap site near the town of San José. The richly decorated tomb has given researchers new insights into gender equality in Lambeyeque society.

Getting to the Brüning Museum

Lambayeque is located about 7 miles from Chiclayo. Regular buses make the 20-minute trip between Chiclayo and Lambayeque, and most stop within a block or two of the Brüning Museum. The museum itself is on Avenida Huamachuco. Visitors can choose to tour the museum with an English-speaking guide which is particularly useful as not many of the exhibits have written information.