Walter Alva is a professional archaeologist who has an outstanding and successful track record in the research and dissemination of Peruvian archaeology. His contributions have transcended the borders of the country, contributing to the unique value of the history and identity of Peru.
Between 1975 and 1977 he served as Supervisor of Archaeological Monuments of the Lambayeque Region and from 1977 until 2002 he was Director of the Brüning National Archaeological Museum which has gone on to become one of the most important centres for research and dissemination of Peruvian Archaeology.
From 1987 until the present, he has been in charge of the Sipán Archaeological Project, created thanks to his initiative and determination. The discovery of the “Tomb of the Lord of Sipán” has made his name known worldwide, and this research is considered to be among the most important discoveries of the 20th century. It was a milestone that made its mark on the history of Peruvian archaeology and produced an icon of world archaeology.
In order to present this national treasure of Peru to the world, he started a campaign to build the “Royal Tombs of Sipán” Museum which was opened thanks to his work in November 2002, and he has served as the museum’s director since then. This museum has been rated among the top 10 most important in the world that have been built in recent years. It has also become the cultural and touristic centre of Northern Peru. He is also the creator and manager of the Site Museum Huaca Rajada-Sipán which opened in 2009.
He was awarded the Order or Merit by the Peruvian Government for distinguished service, among many other national and international distinctions. He is a corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute, emeritus professor at four Peruvian universities, research associate at the Museum of Natural History in New York, member of the National Cultural Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Culture, member of the Advisory Committee for the United Nations Development Program, member of the Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Foreign Relations, Honorary Advisor of the Regional Government of Cajamarca, and has also received honorary doctoral degrees from seven Peruvian Universities among other national honours.
His tireless efforts in the fight against the looting and trafficking of cultural property has created an active international campaign, effecting important repatriations for Peru.
Pdf en español: Semblanza Personal Walter Alva