A 1,000-year-old mummy sporting enviable long brown tresses has been unearthed by archeologists in a residential neighborhood in Peru’s capital.
The ancient cadaver boasting a full head of hair was discovered alongside ceramic jars, fabrics and other artifacts inside an underground funeral chamber at the Huaca Pucllana site in the middle of Lima’s affluent Miraflores district, the head of the team of archaeologists, Mirella Ganoza, told Reuters on Wednesday.
“This is an adult individual in a sitting position with bent legs,” the expert said, noting that the mummy had long locks and a jaw that was nearly completely intact.
“What looks like a braid may be a cord that held her hairstyle,” Ganoza told the news outlet La Republica of the mummy.
Experts noted that they do not yet know the gender of the preserved corpse.
The mummy lived possibly as long as a millennium ago, at the beginning of the Ychsma culture that flourished on the central coast of Peru during a period of social reorganization before the rise of the Inca empire, Ganoza said.
The Huaca Pucllana site, which was believed to have been used as a burial ground by the pre-Hispanic Ychsma people, has already given up several mummies and ancient offerings — with experts comparing it to a Pandora’s Box with much more secrets to be uncovered.
“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 a population of 10 million people, has some 400 huacas, or “sanctuaries” with archaeological ruins scattered throughout several neighborhoods.
In June, a 3,000-year-old mummy wrapped in cloth was discovered beneath 15,000 pounds of trash at a dump site in Lima’s Rimac district.
Earlier this year, the mummy of a child believed to have been a part of a 1,000-year-old human sacrifice was discovered at another archeological dig on the outskirts of Peru’s capital.