Big Find in Peru's Capital: Mummies

And one may have been wrapped alive, archaeologists say

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 25, 2013 8:59 AM CDT

(Newser) – A site in Lima, Peru, that archaeologists have been excavating since 1981 has given up quite the find: an undisturbed tomb that's at least 1,000 years old—with two mummies inside. Dated to the Wari civilization of 600 to 1,000 AD, the bodies of one adult and one infant were found in a squatting position, fully dressed and wrapped in what the BBC calls rope and what Reuters refers to as "ceremonial fabric." Archaeologists say the tomb's adult was probably a master weaver; the child's story is darker: The infant is believed to have been an offering to the gods and was either killed before burial or buried alive.

"This is one of the most important finds in more than three decades of excavation, because the mummies are intact," the head archaeologist tells the AFP, which notes that more than 70 tombs have been excavated over the decades. Also found in the pre-Incan tomb: jars and vessels with feline designs used to drink tea, fabric bags, and the remains of three guinea pigs. The mummies will be unwrapped within the next six months in an attempt to discern their age and gender. (Click for another big archaeological find, this one in Scotland.)

One of the said mummies.
One of the said mummies.   (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
The Huaca Pucllana archaeological complex, in Lima, Peru, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013.
The Huaca Pucllana archaeological complex, in Lima, Peru, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013.   (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
Unearthed archaeological pieces are surrounded by corncobs in an ancient Wari tomb, recently discovered in the Huaca Pucllana archaeological complex.
Unearthed archaeological pieces are surrounded by corncobs in an ancient Wari tomb, recently discovered in the Huaca Pucllana archaeological complex.   (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
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