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1,000 Year-Old Teenage Mummy Unearthed in Peru

Teenage mummy unearthed in Peru.
Teenage mummy unearthed in Peru. Credit: Rodhullandemu / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

A team of archaeologists from Peru recently found an ancient mummy that is over 1,000 years old. The discovery was made on the outskirts of the modern capital city Lima on Monday April 24th, 2023.

Peru is widely recognized for the impressive Inca royal retreat of Machu Picchu, which sits atop a mountain. However, the country was also home to many other pre-Hispanic cultures that were thriving before the Inca empire gained power. These cultures were primarily located along the central coast and Andes regions of the country.

Recently Discovered Mummy

The recently discovered mummy is believed to have been an adolescent who lived around 1,100 to 1,200 years ago. It is suspected that he was a member of the Lima or Ichma cultures.

Archaeologist Yomira Huaman has revealed that the mummy was discovered approximately 200 meters away from the location where another mummy was found last year, in the same area of Cajamarquilla.

The mummy is believed to be that of a young person, and was found in an underground tomb. It was wrapped in a bundle alongside ceramics and rope, and some skin and hair were found on it. The archaeologist in charge of the project, Yomira Huaman, has stated that the mummy is in good condition, considering its age.

According to Yomira Huaman, the sand in the area where the mummy was found has a high salt content, which is likely the cause of the natural mummification of the adolescent. The gender of the mummy has not yet been determined.

Although the head was separated from the body, bits of skin were still present on the arms and legs, and hair was found on the head. The jaw also contained remains of teeth.

Huaman said, “The find is very important because it is so well preserved.” The team discovered several other items in the same location as the mummy, including a stone weapon, a copper needle, a plate, and remains of textile, corn, and chili.

Cajamarquilla Research Project

The Cajamarquilla research project, which is connected to the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, was responsible for the discovery. This is just the latest discovery of artifacts from pre-Inca times in the region.

The archaeological site where the mummy was discovered is also the location where the remains of eight children and 12 adults were found. These individuals were likely sacrificed around 800 to 1,200 years ago.

The Cajamarquilla complex is extensive and includes the ruins of four pyramids and other constructions, such as walls that are arranged in the form of a maze. It is considered to be the second largest mud-brick city in Peru, after Chan Chan in the north of the country’s Andean region.

Archaeologist Yomira Huaman has suggested that Cajamarquilla may have been occupied by people from both the coast and the Andean highlands. Located approximately 20km (12 miles) from Lima in a dusty area, the site was once a bustling trading center.

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