Archaeologists recently discovered 24 mummies in Peru, with four of these believed to have once belonged to Inca nobility, and the mummies were found to still be cloaked in the magnificent robes they were buried in 5oo years ago.
According to the New York Times, the mummies were buried in the massive archaeological site of Túcume, which is 400 miles away from the capital of Lima, and is a pyramid city that stretches for 221 hectares. Around the beginning of the 12th century, this region would have been occupied by the Lambayeque coastal people, with the Inca civilization eventually moving into the area around 1470.
Jose Manuel Escudero, the head of the archaeological team that worked to excavate the site, explained that this was a popular location in which to live, with different civilizations appropriating it for themselves as a place in which to govern their vast empires.
“There’s a reutilization of the space. It appears each culture just found that it was convenient to use this site to govern.”
Beside the Inca mummies, archaeologists discovered a wide assortment of funerary offerings that included fine clothes, ceramics, and grains, and believe that if some of these mummies had been poorer members of society and not members of the nobility, it is highly unlikely that such possessions would have been buried alongside the individuals, nor would some of them still been wearing robes, according to Escudero.
“It’s wrapped in more than 4 shrouds, one of which is quilted. You’re not going to bury an ordinary person that way.”
Jose Manuel Escudero also described how the location where the 24 mummies were found, in a place known as the Pyramid of the Bees, was obviously a very sacred place that archaeologists would like to learn more about, stating that “the Pyramid of the Bees must have had great significance for them to be buried there.”
The Daily Mail has reported that Bernarda Delgado, the director of the Túcume Museum, confirms Escudero’s assertions that these mummies were indeed very likely to have been part of the ancient Inca nobility.
“We have all the evidence that it is an elite group of both men and women.”
Archaeologists also discovered that the funerary items left beside the men and women differed hugely. While the women were left with objects for weaving, the men had shells, wooden paddles, and oars placed next to them.
With 14 of the Inca mummies having been excavated so far, archaeologists are currently working on the 10 that remain.