South America archaeologists find thousand-year-old mummies of children

Mummification was common practice by ancient Egyptians.


Peruvian archaeologists have recently found six pre-Inca mummies of infants, dating from between 800 and 1,000 AD, who were buried in apparent sacrifice next to an elite figure in the thousand-year-old urban mud complex of Cajamarquilla, on the outskirts of the capital Lima.

“We are finding the remains of sacrificed children that are associated with a mummy, we are talking about an individual that presented a very advanced, very sophisticated mummification process, so sophisticated that we can see how it has been preserved for so many years, but it is also the oldest evidence of child sacrifice in large quantities associated with the burial of an elite character.” Said Pieter Van Dalen, Archaeologist responsible for the Cajamarquilla archaeological project.

Alongside mummies of the six children, they also found the skeletal remains of seven adults who, unlike the infants, were not wrapped in bundles

“Among them, the remains of six children and seven adults, including men and women, have been found.” added Pieter Van Dalen, an archaeologist.

A mummy is  a dead human or an animal whose soft tissues and organs have been preserved by intentional or accidental exposure to chemicals, extremely low humidity, cold, or lack of air; this is to ensure that the body does not decay further. Mummies of humans and animals have reportedly been found on every continent, many of which are said to be cats.

Mummification was common practice by ancient Egyptians; it’s a process that involved removal of the internal organs. It is now believed that the Egyptians were carrying out sophisticated mummifications of their dead 1,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to new evidence which could lead to a rewriting of the history books.

In addition to the mummies of ancient Egypt, deliberate mummification was a feature of several ancient cultures in areas of Asia, those along the Torres Strait between Papua New Guinea and Australia, and the Incas of South America

The preserved body of a high-ranking nobleman called Khuwy, discovered in 2019, has been found to be far older than assumed and is, in fact, one of the oldest Egyptian mummies ever discovered. It has been dated to the Old Kingdom, proving that mummification techniques some 4,000 years ago were highly advanced. The sophistication of the body’s mummification process and the materials used, including its exceptionally fine linen dressing and high-quality resin, was not thought to have been achieved until 1,000 years later.

The Mummies that have recently been uncovered in South America’s Peru, have brought to 14 the total number of remains that researchers at the University of San Marcos have been uncovering since November 2021. The mummies date back to the time when the Wari culture was expanding in the Andean area.

Wari culture belongs to prehistorical cultures of Peru.

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