Category Archives: SOUTH AMERICA

Mummified remains of Incan ‘Princess’ who died 500 years ago finally returned to Bolivia

Mummified remains of Incan ‘Princess’ who died 500 years ago finally returned to Bolivia

Mummified remains of Incan 'Princess' who died 500 years ago finally returned to Bolivia
In this Aug. 15, 2019 photo, the 500-year-old mummy of an Incan girl sits inside a vault at the National Museum of Archaeology in La Paz, Bolivia. Nicknamed Nusta, a Quechua word for “Princess,” the mummy recently returned to its native Bolivia 129 years after it was donated to the Michigan State University museum in 1890.

A 500-year-old mummy of an Incan girl has been returned to Bolivia some 129 years after it was donated to the Michigan State University Museum, marking what an official says is the first time human remains of archaeological importance have been repatriated to the Andean country.

Known as Ñusta, a Quechua word for “Princess,” the mummy amazes many because of its excellent state of preservation: Its black braids seem recently combed and its hands still cling to small feathers.

Experts say the mummy originally came from a region in the Andean highlands near La Paz during the last years of the Inca civilization.

Radiocarbon tests also have revealed that it dates to the second half of the 15th century, confirming the likelihood that its tomb burial preceded the arrival of Christopher Columbus and the conquest of the Inca by the Spanish.

“Despite the fact that it was given the name Ñusta, or ‘Princess,’ we don’t know if she was really a princess. We will only be able to answer that with DNA studies,” said William A. Lovis, an MSU emeritus professor of anthropology who worked for years to help bring the remains home.

The mummy was returned more than two weeks ago with the assistance of the U.S. embassy in La Paz, and a new study is expected to be carried out by November by Bolivian academics and foreign experts. Until then, accompanying funerary objects will be exhibited to the public during a celebration that pays homage to the dead on Nov. 2.

In this Aug. 15, 2019 photo, a student opens the door to a vault inside the National Museum of Archaeology where the 500-year-old mummy of an Incan girl is being stored in La Paz, Bolivia. Experts say the mummy originally came from a region in the Andean highlands near La Paz during the last years of the Inca civilization.

Culture Minister Wilma Alanoca said that in recent years, the Bolivian government has achieved the repatriation of several archaeological goods that were taken illegally, but this is the first time that a body has been brought back.

“It’s the first time that a body has been recovered, a mummy from the Inca period,” she said.

Still, many mysteries remain unsolved.

The girl, who is thought to have been part of an ethnic Aymara group known as the Pacajes, had originally been placed in a stone tomb along with sandals, a small clay jar, pouches, feathers and several types of plants including maize and coca—perhaps because some Andean civilizations believed that offerings helped the dead transition into the next life.

This Aug. 15, 2019 photo shows a 500-year-old mummy of an Incan girl clinging to bird feathers, inside a vault at the National Museum of Archaeology in La Paz, Bolivia. The girl is believed to have been around 8 years of age when she died. She is also believed to have been part of an ethnic Aymara group known as the Pacajes, which was under Inca control, said William A. Lovis, an MSU emeritus professor of anthropology who worked for years to help return the mummy to the Andean country.
In this Aug. 15, 2019 photo, an anthropology student analyzes bird feathers that were held by the 500-year-old Incan girl mummy now stored at the National Museum of Archaeology in La Paz, Bolivia. The mummy had originally been placed in a stone tomb along with sandals, a small clay jar, pouches, feathers and several types of plants, including maize and coca. Andean civilization used to give offerings to the dead under the belief that it would help their transition into the other life.
In this Aug. 15, 2019 photo, the fingers of a 500-year-old Incan girl mummy holds bird feathers, inside a vault at the National Museum of Archaeology in La Paz, Bolivia. Experts say the mummy originally came from a region in the Andean highlands near La Paz during the last years of the Inca civilization. Radiocarbon tests also have revealed that it’s as old as the second half of the 15th century, confirming the likelihood that its tomb burial predated the arrival of Christopher Columbus and the conquest of the Inca by the Spanish.

“It’s possible that the girl was an important person and that the objects placed with her had as much sacred importance as they had a useful purpose,” said Lovis. “Another possibility is that her death was an Inca sacrifice to appease or an offer to Inca deities.”

Ñusta is believed to have been about 8 years old when she died and was buried in a dress made with threads from llama or alpaca, animals which were domesticated more than 4,000 years ago in the Andes and still roam the highlands of Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Chile.

David Trigo, who heads the National Archaeology Museum in La Paz, said the well-kept objects open new doors into a society that has barely been studied.

“We can say that she was an important member of her ethnic group,” Trigo said, referring to Incan and Aymara traditions of building adobe or stone tombs known as chullpa for elite members of their communities.

For now, the remains are being preserved in a refrigerated chamber at the National Archaeology Museum in downtown La Paz.

2,000-Year-Old Rock Art Sites Discovered In Jalapão, Brazil

2,000-Year-Old Rock Art Sites Discovered In Jalapão, Brazil

Scientists have discovered 16 new archaeological sites while investigating a large area in Jalapão, in the eastern part of the state of Tocantins, Brazil.

2,000-Year-Old Rock Art Sites Discovered In Jalapão, Brazil
Mountains in Jalapão, the state of Tocantins, Brazil.

The National Historical and Artistic Heritage Institute (Iphan) archaeology team has announced that new archeological sites are believed to contain rock art, including human and animal footprints, engraved symbols, and figures depicting celestial bodies.

The press release issued by Brazil’s Ministry of Culture suggests these artistic expressions were likely created approximately 2,000 years ago.

Archaeologist Rômulo Mac edo from IPHAN  explained that the carved symbols and rock art prominently feature human footprints. Additionally, there are imprints of animals like deer and wild pigs, along with figures that appear to represent celestial bodies.

Tocantins Archaeological Heritage Is Endangered

Recent findings have enriched the archaeological legacy of Tocantins, a state known for its vast potential in archaeological research. The state boasts numerous sites registered by Iphan, many of which are now part of an extensive archaeological complex situated in Jalapão.

These areas have evidence of human settlements dating back to 12,000 years ago and contain pre-colonial archaeological sites that were established prior to the arrival of European colonizers.

Additionally, structures related to archaeology from the past are present, highlighting this region’s significance as a point of contact between the Amazon Forest and Central Brazil’s Cerrado biome.

As infrastructure development grows in the Amazon states, Tocantins has seen a notable surge in archaeological research conducted as part of environmental licensing. This has enabled the gathering of data from previously unexplored archaeological areas.

In this scenario, archaeological work is carried out by firms dedicated to preserving heritage in regions affected by economic activities. Two key actions are prioritized: organizing and sharing knowledge about discovered assets and integrating archaeological considerations into environmental licensing procedures.

New rock art found by archaeologists investigating the Jalapão in Brazil.

Previous studies conducted in the region have indicated that ancient populations favored residing near minor streams and rivers, which are tributaries of the Rio do Sono.

Archaeologists speculate that this choice may have been influenced by the ease of fishing using traps or bows and arrows provided by these smaller water bodies. Additionally, they served as a vital source of water.

Evidence of archaeological sites has been discovered along the Monte Santo and Vermelho rivers and Espingarda, Caracol, Rapadura, Olimpo, Formosa, and Brejão streams.

Regrettably, as highlighted by the IPHAN archaeologist, this cultural asset is under threat due to various factors.

Wind erosion, vandalism, forest fires, and deforestation are among the main threats to the identified sites. To minimize these impacts, Iphan initiated conservation and heritage education actions in the region to protect and promote this Brazilian cultural heritage.

The World’s Oldest Mummies “Chile’s Ancient Mummies Older than Egypt’s”

The World’s Oldest Mummies “Chile’s Ancient Mummies Older than Egypt’s”

The World’s Oldest Mummies “Chile’s Ancient Mummies Older than Egypt’s”

At the beginning of the 20th century, mummies dating back 2000 years before the Egyptians were found in the Atacama Desert of Chile, the driest place in the world.

No, you didn’t read that wrong! Chile’s ancient mummies are thousands of years older than the Egyptians’, with the Chinchorro people mummifying their dead 7,000 years ago.

The remains of hundreds of these marine hunter-gatherers, who lived on the Pacific Coast of the Atacama from around 5450 BCE to 890 BCE, have been discovered in the Arica and Parinacota regions.

The first Chinchorro mummy was documented in 1917 by Max Uhle, a German archaeologist. The earliest mummies were like statues covered with unbaked black clay.

As stated on UNESCO’s page: they successfully adapted to the extreme environmental conditions of a hyper-arid coastal desert in the rugged Coastal Cordillera by using the nearby rich marine resources. Archaeological sites associated with the Chinchorro culture are recognized for having the oldest known artificially mummified human bodies.

Chinchorro mummies, ones of the oldest preserved in the world, at the museum in San Miguel de Azapa, 12 km from Arica, Chile.

In 2021, these cemeteries were inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage List for the immense archaeological value they provide.

They provide insight into the social and spiritual structures of the community in addition to revealing the intricate funeral customs and mortuary practices of the ancient culture. For example, unlike the Egyptians, who reserved mummification for the elite, the Chinchorro offered it as a ritual for everyone.

Chinchorro people mysteriously began mummifying dead babies — removing internal organs, cleaning bones, stuffing and sewing up the skin, and putting wigs and clay masks on them.

The process involved stripping the body of skin and organs, sewing the skin back on, and wrapping the bodies in materials like reeds and sea lion skins. The mummies were then buried in the desert, with hopes that the arid conditions would preserve them forever.

A Chinchorro mummy.

Researchers says high levels of arsenic in the water in the region, which persist to this day, meant more premature births, stillbirths, spontaneous abortions, and higher infant mortality among the Chinchorro.

They posit the Chinchorro began preserving dead babies to express personal and community grief and later began mummifying adults as well, and the practice became more elaborate.

Hundreds of mummies have been uncovered so far, including those of infants and children. The practice lasted more than 3,000 years.

However, climate change is threatening these ancient graves, as unusual weather events expose the bodies to the elements. Efforts are underway to recover and preserve the mummies, which include the construction of a new climate-controlled museum near Africa.

A Stunning Jade mask discovered in the tomb of the Maya King in Guatemala

A Stunning Jade mask discovered in the tomb of the Maya King in Guatemala

A Stunning Jade mask discovered in the tomb of the Maya King in Guatemala

Archaeologists excavating a looted pyramid tomb in the ruins of a Mayan city in Peten, northeast Guatemala, have discovered a mysterious interlocking jade mask believed to have belonged to a previously unknown Mayan king.

Chochkitam, a little-known archaeological site, is located near the Peten Basin, a subregion of the Maya Lowlands in northwest Guatemala.

The area is considered the heartland of the Maya Classic Period, which lasted from 200 to 900 AD.

The site was first reported in 1909, and ongoing studies have revealed three major monumental groups linked by a long central causeway.

In ancient times, the value of jade went far beyond its material value. Mayans considered it a protector of generations, living and dead. For this reason,  jade masks were generally used to symbolize deities or ancestors and were used to reflect the affluence and influence of the entombed individuals.

Archaeologists discovered that grave robbers had excavated a tunnel into a royal pyramid’s core following a LiDAR survey in 2021. Further inspection revealed that the intruders had overlooked a specific area within the pyramid’s inner chamber.

A human skull, and bones, some of them carved with hieroglyphs, a coffin-shaped stone box, ceramic artifacts, and funerary offerings including a pot, oyster shells, and multiple jade pieces that fit together to create a jade mask were found as a result of this oversight.

The name Itzam Kokaj Bahlam is spelled out in carvings and hieroglyphs on some of the bone fragments.

The researchers surmise that this name may belong to the buried Maya king who ruled Chochkitam approximately 350 AD.

The most fascinating feature of all is that a carving on one of the bones shows the ruler clutching the head of a Maya deity, precisely like the assembled jade mask.

All the artifacts and bones discovered in the Chochkitam tomb were brought to the Holmul Archaeological Project (HAP) lab for cleaning and field analysis.

It was there that archaeologists put together the single blocks of jade that they had unearthed, and they were able to reconstruct an entire jade mosaic mask.

Lead archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli of Tulane University and his team discovered the burial using LIDAR mapping technology, according to an extensive article in National Geographic. The mask represents a manifestation of the Storm God worshiped by the Mayans.

Laser mapping reveals the oldest Amazonian cities, built 2500 years ago

Laser mapping reveals the oldest Amazonian cities, built 2500 years ago

Laser mapping reveals the oldest Amazonian cities, built 2500 years ago
A lidar map of the city of Kunguints in the Ecuadorian Amazon reveals ancient streets lined with houses.

Archaeologists once believed the ancient Amazon rainforest was an inhospitable place, sparsely populated by bands of hunter-gatherers. But the remains of enormous earthworks, pyramids, and roads from Bolivia to Brazil discovered over the past two decades have proved conclusively that the Amazon was home to large, complex societies long before European colonizers arrived. Now, there’s evidence that another human society—the oldest yet—left its mark on the region: A dense network of interconnected cities, now hidden beneath the forest in Ecuador’s Upano Valley, has been revealed by the laser mapping technology called lidar.

The settlements, described today in Science, are at least 2500 years old, more than 1000 years older than any other known complex Amazonian society.

Lidar, which allows researchers to see through forest cover and reconstruct the ancient sites below, “is revolutionizing our understanding of the Amazon in pre-Columbian times,” says Carla Jaimes Betancourt, an archaeologist at the University of Bonn who wasn’t involved in the new work.

Finding such an ancient urban network in the Upano Valley highlights the long-unrecognized diversity of ancient Amazonian cultures, which archaeologists are just beginning to be able to reconstruct.

Stéphen Rostain, an archaeologist at CNRS, France’s national research agency, began excavating in the Upano Valley nearly 30 years ago. His team focused on two large settlements, called Sangay and Kilamope, and found mounds organized around central plazas, pottery decorated with paint and incised lines, and large jugs holding the remains of the traditional maize beer chicha.

Radiocarbon dates showed the Upano sites were occupied from around 500 B.C.E. to between 300 C.E. and 600 C.E. “I knew that we had a lot of mounds, a lot of structures,” Rostain says. “But I didn’t have a complete overview of the region.”

That changed when Ecuador’s National Institute for Cultural Heritage funded a lidar survey of the valley in 2015. Specially equipped planes beamed laser pulses into the forest and measured their return path, revealing topographic features otherwise invisible under the trees.

The lidar data allowed Rostain and his collaborators to see the connections between settlements and also uncovered many more. “Each day it was Christmas, with a new gift,” Rostain says. The team identified five large settlements and 10 smaller ones across 300 square kilometers in the Upano Valley, each densely packed with residential and ceremonial structures.

The cities are interspersed with rectangular agricultural fields and surrounded by hillside terraces where people planted crops, including the corn, manioc, and sweet potato found in past excavations. Wide, straight roads connected the cities to one another, and streets ran between houses and neighborhoods within each settlement. “We’re talking about urbanism,” says co-author Fernando Mejía, an archaeologist at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador.

A large complex of earthen platforms in Nijiamanch, one of the urban settlements in the Upano Valley.

Although the researchers don’t yet know how many people lived in the Upano Valley, the settlements were large: The core area of Kilamope, for example, covers an area comparable in size to the pyramid-studded Giza Plateau in Egypt or the main avenue of Teotihuacan in Mexico.

The extent of Upano’s landscape modification rivals the “garden cities” of the Classic Maya, the authors say. And what’s been discovered so far “is just the tip of the iceberg” of what could be found in the Ecuadorian Amazon, Mejía says.

The network of roads connecting the Upano sites suggests they all existed at the same time. They are a millennium older than other complex Amazonian societies, including Llanos de Mojos, a recently discovered ancient urban system in Bolivia.

The Upano Valley cities were denser and more interconnected than sites in Llanos de Mojos, Rostain says. “We say ‘Amazonia,’ but we should say ‘Amazonias,’” to capture the region’s ancient cultural diversity, he says.

The details of each culture, however, are still coming into view. People in both the Upano Valley and Llanos de Mojos were farmers who built roads, canals, and large civic or ceremonial buildings. But, “We’re just beginning to understand how these cities were functioning,” including how many people lived in them, who they traded with, and how they were governed, says Jaimes Betancourt, who studies Llanos de Mojos.

So it’s too soon to compare the Upano cities with societies such as the Classic Maya and Teotihuacan, which were “much more complex and more extensive,” says Thomas Garrison, an archaeologist and geographer at the University of Texas at Austin who specializes in lidar and wasn’t involved in the work. Still, he says, “It’s amazing that we can still make these kinds of discoveries on our planet and find new complex cultures in the 21st century.”

Mystery Of Pyramids Submerged On the Cuban Coast More Than 50,000 Years Ago

Mystery Of Pyramids Submerged On the Cuban Coast More Than 50,000 Years Ago

In 2001, a Cuban-Canadian research team discovered what could be the ruins of an ancient city that sank more than 50,000 years ago between Yucatan and the western coast of Cuba. The team worked on “Project Exploramar,” which discovered the well-preserved USS Maine, three miles off the Cuban coast at 1150 m depth in 2000.

On December 7, 2001, BBC News announced the discovery of an ancient sunken city with unusual features off the coast of the Guanahacabibes peninsula in the Pinar del Río province of Cuba. It was found using an underwater robot equipped with cameras, lights, and sonars at more than 2,000 feet (650 meters) below the sea’s surface covering an area of 2 square kilometers (200 hectares).

The discovery was reported by Canadian Marine Engineer Paulina Zelitsky along with her husband Paul Weinzweig. She stumbled upon the fantastic geometric patterns which she found 2000 feet underwater while studying the grainy, black and white sonar images on her computer screen, searching for a scientific explanation.

Map showing the location of the supposed ancient city discovered by Paul Weinzweig and Paulina Zelitsky.

Paulina Zelitsky was born in Poland and studied engineering in the former Soviet Union. During the Cold War, she worked on a submarine base in Cuba but defected to Canada, where she married Paul Weinzweig, and together, they set up a company called Advanced Digital Communications (ADC).

The expedition that resulted in the discovery of megalithic structures off the coast of Cuba was a joint venture between ADC, the National Geographic Society, and the Centre for Marine Archaeology and Anthropology at the Cuban Academy of Sciences in Cuba. The Cuban government employed Zelitsky & her team to assist in the location of a sunken treasure that is believed to lie off the coast in a variety of vessels.

The structures, located at a depth of approximately 650 meters, seemed to have an urban pattern and generated significant headlines such as “The Discovery of Atlantis in Cuba.” ADA mapped the ocean floor surrounding Cuba for three years under contract with the Cuban government. Using their 265-foot ship, Ulises, they found about 20 shipwrecks, including the USS Maine, and vast oil fields in deep waters around the island.

The shapes appear to be arranged in patterns, the scientists say. The images, made with sophisticated sonar, show an area of about 100 by 200 meters.

“The structures we found on the side scan sonar simply are not explicable from a geological point of view. There is too much organization. too much symmetry, too much repetition of form,” Weinzweig said.

Discovery Made

According to Zelitsky, the research vessel Ulises sailed in the Yucatan Channel just off the west coast of Cuba that day, hired by the Castro government to look for undersea oil and gas, as well as old treasure ships if they could be found.

As Zelitsky and Weinzweig were watching the screen, the empty plain of the sea bed suddenly gave way to images of massive geometric shapes, apparently cut from stone. As more shapes came into view, some appeared to be arranged in patterns over a large area of about 20 square kilometers.

Some stones seemed to be cut into blocks, and some blocks looked perfectly aligned. They appeared to form corridors and the outlines of rooms, the two scientists said. There were round stones and pyramid-shaped ones, too.

“The sea bottom in that area is an undulating sand plain. What they were seeing should not have been there. We were shocked, and frankly, we were a little frightened. It was as though we should not be seeing what we were seeing. Our first thought was maybe we found some kind of secret military installation,” said Zelitsky.

“Nothing is known for certain now,” Weinzweig noted, “but the oral tradition in early Mexico speaks of an advanced civilization of tall white people who came from the East, and of an island that sank in a great natural disaster.” In the ancient language of some early Central American Indians, he said, “The word Atlantic means ‘our good father,’ or, ‘the place where our good father rests.’”

Paulina Zelitsky and her husband Paul Weinzweig.

What if the intriguing shapes found by the sonar are just carved over the centuries by whimsical nature? Zelitsky and Weinzweig did not think so. Besides, she added that they believed it to be the remnants of a city that had been built by locals upon a land bridge connecting Cuba to the mainland at some point, although such a bridge is not known to have ever existed.

“There is no granite in Cuba or the Yucatan. That area features limestone,” Zelitsky said. Granite is found in Central Mexico and was used by ancient people such as the Maya and an older civilization, the Olmec, in their construction of cities and buildings.

This site, perhaps built by a culture that far pre-dates the famous Maya of the Yucatan Peninsula, might have been the victim of a vast, mysterious cataclysm that somehow dropped 2,000 feet beneath the surface of the sea. The Maya developed a magnificent civilization on the Yucatan Peninsula beginning about A.D. 250 and peaking about A.D. 900. Spain finally completed its conquest of the Maya in about 1500.

The Maya produced advanced architecture, paintings, pottery, and sculpture, and their grasp of mathematics and astronomy was remarkable for that time. They might have developed the first calendar and were among the first to make paper and books of tree bark. They cut large stone blocks and made buildings, courtyards, and pyramids, many for the worship of numerous gods.

But Zelitsky thought the Mega site pre-dates even the ancient Maya by a lot.

Then other voices arose that expressed their opinion about the discovery, such as Archaeologist Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews of Bad Archeology. According to him, during the ice age, the city would never have been above sea level unless the place it was built on had sunk first.

A computer-generated mock-up of the supposed city

“However, if we take Plato at his word – as we must if we assume Atlantis to have been a historical place – the violence of its sinking makes it improbable that an entire city could have survived plunging more than 600 m into an abyss. Rapid sinking would devastate structures; the persistence of mud just below the surface suggests that the sinking was not to a depth of 600-740 m. Unless we are prepared to jettison Plato’s text – the sole source for the story of Atlantis – we cannot identify the features found by Paulina Zelitsky with Atlantis,” he explained.

A similar discovery was made off the coast of Yonaguni Island in Japan in 1986. The find was known as the “Yonaguni Monument,” an artificial rock formation submerged in prehistory. There, strange megaliths up to 5 stories high were found.

Are the Cuba underwater ruins really the sunken underwater city? Could it be another piece of evidence of the lost mystical Atlantis? Unfortunately, there is simply not enough imagery data, and the ruins might be anything. Interestingly, there seems to have been no real follow-up expedition to the site, which some have seen as rather suspicious and conspiratorial.

73 intact Wari mummy bundles and Carved Masks Placed On False Heads Discovered In Peru

73 intact Wari mummy bundles and Carved Masks Placed On False Heads Discovered In Peru

73 intact Wari mummy bundles and Carved Masks Placed On False Heads Discovered In Peru
Carved wood mask on the so-called “false head” of a burial tomb, Pachacámac, Peru. 

At Pachacámac, an archaeological site southeast of Lima in Peru, archaeologists unearthed bundles of 73 intact mummy bundles, some containing “false-heads” masks made of wood or ceramics.

The site of the find is an extensive complex of cemeteries from different periods at the foot of the Painted Temple. Nearby, wooden staff with images of dignitaries of the Wari Empire were also discovered.

The Wari culture belongs to the most important prehistorical cultures of Peru. It developed in the mountainous valley of Ayacucho in Central Peru based on local traditions and the influences carried by the Tiwanaku culture that flourished in the altiplano of Bolivia.

The finds date to the latter part of the Middle Horizon, between 800-1100 AD, corresponding to the expansion period of the Wari Empire’s reign.

The discovery was made by a team of archaeologists from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, led by Professor Krzysztof Makowski at Pachacámac, south of Lima (Peru).

The cemetery complex was first discovered in the late 19th century by German archaeologist Max Uhle.

They had been widely damaged in the “extirpation of the idolatries” during the colonial period and would be repeatedly looted after Uhle’s excavation. The discovery of 73 undamaged burials is therefore of great archaeological significance.

Professor Makowski’s team, consisting of Cynthia Vargas, Doménico Villavicencio, and Ana Fernández, purposefully focused their research on a site where a tall wall that was constructed during the Inca and colonial periods had collapsed. It had been assumed that the piles of adobe bricks would have made it difficult for robbers to access the graves. This turned out to be accurate.

The discovery of a well-preserved assemblage of individual and group burials with dates precisely to the second half of the Middle Horizon.

In addition to the burial discoveries, archaeologists stumbled upon two wooden staffs near the cemetery within the remnants of a nearby settlement.

These staffs were found in a deposit of “thorny oyster” ( Spondylus princeps) shells, believed to have been imported from present-day Ecuador, situated to the north of the Wari Empire.

Staff carved in wood with depictions of two figures of the Wari Empire (800-1,100 AD).

The carved iconography on these staffs potentially suggests that the inhabitants of Pachacámac had established some form of contact with individuals from the Tiwanaku kingdom.

The Tiwanaku kingdom, positioned to the south of the Wari Empire, spanned the present-day regions of Peru, Bolivia, and Chile – an indicator of ancient trade routes and cultural exchanges.

The wooden staffs depict dignitaries donning headgear reminiscent of the styles worn in the Tiwanaku kingdom. The shared elements in the headgear design along with the stylistic similarities make these finds historically and culturally unique, according to Archeowiesci blog.

The team’s findings contradict the previous understanding of Pachacámac history. It was not, as historians have posited, a sacred city from the construction of the Old Temple during by the Lima culture ca. 200 A.D. through the arrival of the Spanish. During the Wari Empire, it was not the monumental sacred site that was one of the most important in the central Andes. That only happened after it was absorbed in the Inca Empire.

North-South profile at cemetery 1 in Pachacamac (Peru), the surface of which was partially disturbed by a wall from the Inca period, rebuilt in the early Colonial period.

Due to the state of preservation and the precision of the documentation of the context of the finds at the time of excavation, as well as the laboratory analyses, the burial assemblages uncovered are a veritable goldmine of information on the social position of men, women and children according to kinship ties, the care of invalids, indicators of war and domestic violence.

Nineteen of the bundles, with their lower part preserved and an intact structure, could be transferred to the laboratory in their entirety in order to document them three-dimensionally using CT scanning without having to be opened. Their contents will be analysed on a computer screen by bioarchaeologists Professor Dr. Andrew Nelson and Dr. Lucía Watson.

Mummies Buried at Ancient Temple Site Discovered in Peru

Mummies Buried at Ancient Temple Site Discovered in Peru

Mummies Buried at Ancient Temple Site Discovered in Peru

Archaeologists in Peru have unearthed four mummies of children believed to be at least 1,000 years old from what was once a sacred ceremonial space that is now in one of the oldest neighborhoods of modern-day Lima.

Archaeologists in Peru have unearthed four mummies of children believed to be at least 1,000 years old from what was once a sacred ceremonial space that is now in one of the oldest neighborhoods of modern-day Lima.

Researchers believe the children, discovered on Monday alongside the remains of an adult, come from the Ychsma culture that developed on Peru’s central coast before the Inca Empire rose to span swathes of the Andean region.

People stand around the Huaca La Florida archaeological site where five mummies, which according to archaeologists belong to the pre-Inca Ychsma culture that inhabited the central coast of Peru from approximately 900 to 1450 AD., were found, in Lima, Peru.

Some remains were found at the foot of a staircase on a small hill, which is believed to have once hidden a temple. Luis Takuda, an archaeologist in Lima’s Rimac district, said the temple was likely built 3,500 years ago.

“This whole area is a very important ceremonial chamber,” Takuda said. “The people who lived here during the Ychsma period still considered it a sacred space and therefore buried their dead here.”

Takuda said the mummies’ skulls still had hair on them. The remains were found alongside ceramics.

With a population of about 10 million, the Peruvian capital is home to some 400 archaeological ruins.

Peru’s largest archaeological sites are located outside Lima in places such as Cusco, which was the capital of the Inca Empire and fell to Spanish conquistadores in the 16th century.