Peru: Archaeologists have discovered 1,000-year-old pre-Inca mummies, some with 'false heads'
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18.12.2023 Peru Lima   106
Peru: Archaeologists have discovered 1,000-year-old pre-Inca mummies, some with 'false heads'

Archaeologists in Peru have discovered burials of at least 73 people dating back about 1,000 years ago, several hundred years earlier than the dominance of the Incas in western South America.

Each of them was wrapped in cloth, some of which was brightly colored, and secured with rope. The male and female remains were accompanied by wooden and ceramic masks, commonly called "false heads," according to Krzysztof Makowski, director of archaeological research at the site and an archaeologist at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.

The graves located near Lima at the archaeological site of Pachacamac, belong to the Wari culture and date back to the period between 800 and 1100 AD, which corresponds to the territorial expansion of the Wari Empire in the region.

The Wari people, known for their well-preserved mummies and intricate works of art, including elaborate pottery and textiles, also participated in human sacrifice and used hallucinogens in religious ceremonies.

Next to the cemetery, among the remains of a neighboring settlement, two wooden structures were excavated along with burials. These staves, discovered among deposits of "spiny oyster" shells brought from modern-day Ecuador, north of the Wari Empire, are decorated with carved iconography indicating potential connections between the people of Pachacamac and the inhabitants of the kingdom of Tiwanaku in the southern Wari Empire, covering parts of Peru, Bolivia and Chile.

Each staff has a carving of a dignitary adorned with a headdress reminiscent of that worn in the kingdom of Tiwanaku. Ongoing excavations at Pachacamac, coupled with analysis of recovered remains, promise to provide further insight into the ancient interactions and influences between these civilizations.

In the Quechua language spoken by the indigenous people of the Andes, the name Pachacamac translates to "he who gives life" Earth.”

Archaeological evidence suggests that Pachacamac was a relatively modest settlement during the Wari Empire, but grew significantly during the Inca era and flourished in the 15th century. During the Incan reign, the site became an important religious center, contributing to the rich historical heritage of the region.

Ongoing excavations and studies of the remains aim to unravel even more mysteries related to the cultural evolution of Pachacamac and its role in the complex history of pre-Columbian civilizations in South America.

Source: timesofindia

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