The Peruvian archaeologists found a pre-Inca mummy between 1,200 and 800 years old surprisingly tied with rope, while they excavated in a millenary urban mud complex located in the district of Lurigancho-Chosica, on the outskirts of Lima.
The remains most likely belong to a male person, who would be between 18 and 22 years old at the time of death and whose face is covered by his hands.
The discovery occurred inside a burial chamber about three meters long and at a depth of 1.40 meters at the Cajamarquilla archaeological site, east of Lima.
“We have achieved the discovery of a mummy that was located inside a funerary structure with an underground conical shape and when seeing the characteristics it was a mummy that was tied with ropes,” the archaeologist told AFP Pieter Van Dalen, responsible for the Cajamarquilla project.
“It is a peculiar and unique feature of this funerary context. The mummy would have been buried between 800 to 1,200 AD “, he added about the find in this excavation.
On one side of the mummy was the skeleton of an Andean guinea pig (guinea pig) and what appears to be a dog, according to researchers at the University of San Marcos. The remains of corn and other vegetables were also discovered in the burial chamber.
Cajamarquilla “It was an urban center where multiple functions were developed, it has a great variety of sectors, where there are administrative, domestic, residential sectors”, Van Dalen said.
According to the researcher, Cajamarquilla “It is a very large city that could have housed between 10,000 and 20,000 people in a total of 167 hectares.” It was built around 200 BC and was occupied until 1500.
Cajamarquilla is located 24 kilometers east of Lima and is one of the largest archaeological complexes in the city.
TEAM OF 40 PEOPLE DISCOVERED THE MUMMY
Van Dalen told CNN that the excavation work began in mid-October with a team of 40 people led by him and also the archaeologist Yomira Huamán Santillán. Also, they weren’t looking for a mummy, so that was a surprise.
“The whole team was very happy because we didn’t think this was going to happen. We did not expect to make such an important discovery, “Huamán told the US media.
MARINE MOLLUSCS OUTSIDE THE TOMB
Another find that surprised archaeologists was finding marine mollusks outside the mummy’s tomb, something unusual because Cajamarquilla is about 25 kilometers off the Peruvian coast.
“After the body is placed in the grave, there are constant events and activities. That is to say, their descendants keep coming for many years and placing food and offerings there, including mollusks ”, Van Dalen told CNN.
They also found llama bones on the outside of the tomb, but these were consumed by the people of the time and pieces of the animal’s meat were offered to the deceased, said the archaeologist.
The conclusion of the discovery details that it was not an ordinary person, but someone very important such as a merchant or someone with high status.
The archaeologists are going to do specialized analyzes to determine the carbon dating and thus find the period in which it lived and much more details about the identity of the mummy.
According to the National University of San Marcos, which had several representatives in this discovery, the mummy was found in a fetal position, inside an oval underground funerary structure that had a platform on the north side, explained Yomira, after specifying that this place is accessed by a staircase of seven steps.
The significance of this archaeological complex lies in its strategic location, as a control and means of interaction of interregional relations. It is located in the district of Lurigancho – Chosica, on the right bank of the middle valley of the Rímac river; with an area of 1’401,172.93 m² and borders a large number of human settlements.
During the Late Intermediate Period, Cajamarquilla became a multi-ethnic shopping center, where people of different nationalities resided, although mainly the local population (ichma) and chacllas, as reported by the San Marcos archaeologist, in her scientific article “The Late Intermediate Period in Cajamarquilla from the evidence of the Tello sector”, published in the 34th edition of the Archeology and Society Magazine, of the San Marcos Museum of Archeology and Anthropology.
The discovery of the archaeological evidence occurs within the framework of the research work carried out in the archaeological zone Yomira Silvia Huamán Santillán, graduated in Archeology from the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (UNMSM); and the San Marcos teacher Pieter Van Dalen Luna, with the participation of students from the UNMSM and the San Cristóbal de Huamanga and San Antonio de Abad del Cusco universities.