Exceptionally rare 1000-year-old mummy found in Peru

The discovery of the 1000-year-old mummy provides a look into the ancient society (ULB P. Eeckhout)

Archaeologists have discovered a remarkably well preserved 1000 year old mummy in Peru.

A team of the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, made the stunning find after nine weeks of excavation at the ancient site of Pachacamac.

“The deceased is still wrapped in the huge burial bundle that served as a coffin,” said the ULB professor and excavation director Peter Eeckhout, in a statement. “Discoveries such as this are extremely rare, and this mummy is incredibly well preserved. Samples were collected for carbon-14 dating, but the area in which it was discovered and the type of grave suggest this person was buried between 1000 and 1200 after christ.”


Working with Christophe Moulherat, a textile specialist at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, the team will make use of a medical imaging technology to examine the mummy. Experts hope that this will shed a new light on the position of a person in the society, what diseases they suffered from, and also reveal hidden artifacts.

A part of the excavation at Pachacamac (ULB P. Eeckhout)

The mummy was discovered in an undisturbed burial chamber in an ancient shrine of Pachacamac. Dedicated to local ancestors, the shrine seems to have been converted into a water-and a healing temple during the Inca rule in the late 15th century.

Archaeologists discovered a number of offerings left by worshippers, such as Spondylus shells imported from Ecuador. Related to the influx of water during El Niño, the shells are the symbol of fertility and abundance, according to researchers.


A monument meant to host pilgrims and rituals was also excavated at Pachacamac.

Another fascinating, and sometimes chilling, archaeological finds have been made in Peru.

Earlier this year, archaeologists in northern Peru, said they have found evidence of what could be the world’s largest case of child sacrifice. The pre-Colombian cemetery, known as Las lamas, contains the skeletons of 140 children between the ages of five and 14 when they were ritually sacrificed during a ceremony for about 550 years ago, according to experts who led the excavation.

Last year, archaeologists used 3-D printing technology to reconstruct the face of an ancient 1,200-year-old Peruvian woman.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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