Pre-Inca mummies discovered in Lima
Thu, 21 Oct 2010 2:26p.m.
Four 1,150-year-old mummies have been discovered in an ancient burial site in Lima, archaeologists revealed yesterday.
The preserved bodies are believed to be the remains of an elite woman and three children, one of which may have been sacrificed. All came from the Wari, or Huari, culture, a pre-Inca civilisation that spread along the Peruvian coast between 600 and 1,000 AD.
The discovery was made in the Huaca Puccllana archeological complex in Lima's Miraflores neighbourhood. The semi-circular tomb was found at the top of the site's main pyramid - a 25-metre structure made of adobe and clay - and was untouched by looters.
So far archeologists have been unable to determine the age or sex of the primary mummy, but the ornamental offerings left with the body - including several ceramic vessels and textile bags decorated with amorphous drawings - suggest that it was a woman.
Archeologist Gladys Paz was led to the tomb after discovering its adobe roof.
"This time, we have found an intact tomb for this era - we are talking the second part of the 'horizonte medio' era or 850AD - with an age of 1,150 years. Around the tomb, a principle bundle with a fake head has been noted, along with three accompanying bundles, which for their size would have been children. Two of them are from high social rank and one was probably sacrificed," said Paz.
As the only intact Wari tomb to have been found at the top of the pyramid, it is a important discovery for those studying the period. Mummies and offerings previously found in the area have been found in poor condition.
Huaca Puccllana was one of the most important sites for Lima Culture, a pre-Incan civilization, before it became taken over by the Wari. It is a site that attracts large numbers of students and tourists from around the world.