Archaeologists unearth 1,000-year-old mummy in Peru residential neighborhood

The Miraflores mummy has long hair and its jaw is almost completely intact

Archaeologists in Peru have unearthed a 1,000-year-old mummy in the latest discovery at an archaeological site in a residential neighborhood of the country’s capital, Lima.

The remains were found alongside ceramic vessels, textiles and other objects in the Huaca Pucllana site in the middle of Lima’s affluent Miraflores district, according to Mirella Ganoza, the head of the team of archaeologists.

“This is an adult individual in a sitting position with bent legs,” Ganoza said, noting that the mummy had long hair and a jaw that was nearly completely intact.

An archaeologist works on a site where a 1,000-year-old mummy was unearthed, at a residential neighbourhood, in Lima, Peru September 6, 2023. Reuters/Sebastián Castaneda. Cover image: an aerial view of the site. Reuters/Sebastián Castaneda

The uncovered mummy lived as much as a millennium ago, at the beginning of the Ychsma culture that developed on the central coast of modern Peru during a period of social reorganization prior to the arrival of the Incas to the area, Ganoza said.

Mummies and ancient offerings have already been found in the Huaca Pucllana site, and experts see the site as a Pandora’s Box with much more to be found.

While sites such as the mountain-top royal retreat of Machu Picchu has made its Inca history famous, Peru was home to various pre-Hispanic cultures that thrived in the centuries before the Inca empire rose to power, mainly along the country’s central coast and in the Andes.

“I find it quite interesting that right in the heart of Miraflores, in the middle of the city, surrounded by modern buildings and constructions, an important site is still preserved, the Huaca Pucllana ceremonial center,” said Ganoza.

Lima, with 10 million inhabitants, has some 400 sites with archaeological ruins that can be seen in various neighborhoods, according to experts.



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