And why you must include Pachacamac as a part of your travel itinerary when you’re visiting Peru. By Shikha Pushpan

 

The discovery of an exceptionally well-kept mummy in Peru has sparked curiosity among archaeologists around the world. A team from the Université Libre de Bruxelles’s Centre for Archaeological Research (CReA-Patrimoine) discovered the mummy intact at the 15th century Inca pilgrimage site, Pachacamac, and it reportedly dates to between 1,000-1,200 AD.

 

mummy

 

The mummy was found wrapped in an enormous funeral bundle that served as a coffin by a team of archaeologists led by Professor Peter Eeckhout. “Discoveries like this one are exceptionally scarce, and this mummy is incredibly well-preserved. Samples were collected for carbon-14 dating, but the area in which it was discovered and the type of tomb it was preserved in, suggest that this individual was buried between 1000 and 1200 AD,” Eeckhout was quoted as saying.

The excavation was carried out as part of the Ychsma project, where archaeologists also recovered three monumental structures, including a sanctuary dedicated to the local ancestors. Before the Incas settled in, the sanctuary is said to have included large funerary chambers and numerous mummies. While most of these mummies were looted during the Spanish conquest, one of the chambers was surprisingly found untouched. This chamber led to the discovery of the mummy.

The evidences collected during the campaign indicate that the Incas made considerable changes to the Pachacamac site in order to create a large pilgrimage centre. “Deities and their worship played a major part in the life of Pre-Colombian societies,” concluded Peter Eeckhout. “The Inca understood this very well, and integrated it into how they wielded their power. By promoting empire-wide worship, they contributed to creating a common sense of identity among the many different peoples that made up the empire. Pachacamac is one of the most striking examples of this,” Eeckhout said.

So next time you’re in Peru, make sure to include Pachacamac in your itinerary.