Archeologists in Peru recently discovered a mummy in perfect condition inside an underground tomb. The mummy was bound by rope and in the fetal position with its hands covering its face. The remains of an Andean guinea pig and what appeared to be the skeleton of a dog were also found next to the mummy.
The approximately 1,000-year-old mummy was believed to be a male who died between the ages of 18 and 22, the researchers said in a statement on December 7. It was also believed the person probably held high social status or was a merchant.
Yomira Silvia Huamán Santillán and Pieter Van Dalen Luna, archaeologists at the National University of San Marcos, said the pre-Inca mummy was discovered inside an oval-shaped tomb which was accessible by a seven-tier staircase.
The mummy was discovered lying in the fetal position with his hands covering his face. His body was in “perfect condition” and wrapped in a textile and tied with rope, a southern Peruvian funeral practice according to the researchers.
Near the mummy researchers also found corn and the remains of various other vegetables, CNN reported.
“According to the characteristics of the mummy and a burial pattern that would correspond to the mountain range because it is covered with rope, it would prove that the site would have been occupied by coastal and mountain people during the late pre-Hispanic period,” the researchers wrote.
At the time the mummy was buried, Cajamarquilla was a “multi-ethnic commercial center” located about 16 miles inland from the bank of the Rímac river.
The city served as a trade center for both coastal and mountain people. At one time, more than 10,000 might have lived in the city, the researchers said in a statement.
Van Dalen Luna explained that it was common for family members and friends to visit the tomb and leave gifts and offerings. He also said that llama bones were found outside the tomb which he believed may have been brought as offerings.
The mummy is now being protected in a specially conditioned environment at the National University of San Marcos.
In June, Newsweek reported on a new study that revealed insights into the life of a 2,400 year old mummy. The famed Tollund man was discovered in Denmark in 1950 and believed to have been the victim of a human sacrifice.
The Tollund man was found deep in a bog, curled up with a rope around his neck, according to Denmark’s Museum Silkeborg. Researchers concluded that he had been hanged.
Research published by the Cambridge University Press in late July identified what the man’s last meal was by analyzing “plant macrofossils, pollen, non-pollen palynomorphs, steroid markers and proteins” found inside the Tollund man’s gut.
Researchers were able to identify the man ingested “a porridge containing barley, pale persicaria and flax, and probably some fish,” about 12 to 24 hours prior to his death.