Researchers at the National University of San Marcos have unearthed a body preserved underground in the middle of a city square at the Cajamarquila Archaeological Site, about 25 kilometers inland from Lima.
“The discovery of this settler sheds a new light on contacts and relationships in pre-Hispanic times,” said Peter van Dalen Luna, one of the archaeologists who led the excavations.
He mummy to CNN may have been a teenager mostly in his 25s and 30s, he may have come to the Cajamarculla from the mountains, which was previously a bustling business center in pre-Columbian times.
A team of 40 led by Van Dylan Luna and fellow archaeologist Yomira Human Chandilan began excavations in mid-October, and the discovery was surprising as they did not search for the mummy.
“We did not expect this to happen because the whole team was so happy,” Human told CNN. “We do not expect such an important discovery.”
Another unexpected discovery was the presence of several sea mollusks outside Mummy’s tomb, which is unusual in being 25 kilometers off the coast of Cajamarculla, said Van Dalen Luna.
“After the body is placed in the cemetery, there are ongoing events and activities,” said Van Dylan Luna. “That is, their descendants come back for many years and put food and offerings there, including mollusks.”
The bones of the Lama were also found outside the tomb, and Van Dylan Luna said that it was commonly eaten by the people of the time and therefore the deceased would be given pieces of Lama meat.
Circumstances of the discovery The researchers concluded that this was not an ordinary citizen, but may be an important figure in contemporary society.
“Finding a mummy with these characteristics in the middle of the plaza makes it clear that he is a high-ranking official,” said Van Dalen Luna, who, among other options, may have been a leading businessman.
The team will now carry out further specialized analysis, including carbon dating, which will shorten the life span of the individual and allow further details about their identity.