Archaeologists have discovered a mummy dating back a thousand years in a catacombs in the Cajamarquilla region of Peru. The mummy was found in the fetal position and tied with a rope.
“The recent discovery of such a pre-Inca mummy in excellent condition has redoubled efforts to uncover mysteries at one of the most extensive settlements on the coast of Lima,” the archaeologists said. said. Previous research has shown that the area on the outskirts of modern Lima was once part of a bustling ancient community of 10,000 people. The inhabitants were mostly traders, intermediating between those who came from the mountains and those who lived on the coast of what is now Peru.
The team discovered a catacombs, a room large enough to allow archaeologists to walk without bending over. It was about 3 meters long and 1.4 meters high. Inside, they found a staircase leading down to where they found the remains of the young and well-preserved mummy. Saying that the mummy looked like a man based on its features, the team estimated it was probably between the ages of 18 and 22.
The mummy was lying on its side and tied with ropes over its body, as if holding its face with its hands. It was so well preserved that details like nails were evident. They noted that he was buried close to Cajamarquilla, a practice common to people living in mountainous areas at the time. The researchers note that while the images may seem frightening to modern people, the custom of hanging dead people with rope was quite common at that time. Because the corpse was covered with rope, the researchers found evidence that the area was occupied by coastal and mountain people in the late pre-Hispanic era and was strategically located for commercial exchange between the inhabitants of both areas.
Archaeologists said the mummified man died anywhere between 800 and 1200 years ago and was the son of a wealthy merchant. Interestingly, researchers found the remains of mollusks on the ground near the entrance to the burial chamber. They suggest that these are leftovers from a meal eaten by people who visited the tomb. They also found llama bones nearby. Both suggest that the young man’s remains were visited by mourners for some time after his death. They note that visiting burial sites was a common practice for pre-Inca civilizations.
In the man’s tomb, they found the remains of a dog and an Andean guinea pig, along with the remains of corn and other vegetables. The mummy was found in the fetal position inside an oval catacombs with a platform accessed by a seven-step staircase on the north side.
“The significance of this archaeological complex lies in its strategic position as a means of control and interaction of interregional relations,” the researchers write. says. The town became a multiethnic commercial center during this period, according to an evidence-based scholarly article.
According to the researchers, “This study contributes to further knowledge of the cultural practices developed in Cajamarquilla in late pre-Hispanic times, its interactions with other regions in the Rímac Valley during the arrival of the Incas and annexation of this region to Tawantinsuyo, its productive strategies, and its hierarchical situation. ”