Mummies at Cajamarquilla, Peru

Sacrificed children and adults found with pre-Inca elite man.

Cajamarquilla is Peru’s second largest pre-Inca city. Located 21km inland from Lima, it covers 170 hectares. It was an important trading centre occupied by the Wari people, expert traders, who prospered throughout the 1st millennium AD. Once located in a fertile valley on a major trade route between the coast and highlands, the city was abandoned as a result of persistent drought and numerous earthquakes several centuries before the Spanish entrada.


The arid climate has preserved buildings and temples, also well preserved burials, including an 800 year-old mummy of an elite man, aged between 35 and 40 years old, with his hands covering his face. Following his discovery in late 2021, the archaeological team from the National University of San Marcos has now announced yet more discoveries.


This month, February 2022, the archaeologists unearthed two well-preserved mummy bundles to add to two already known. The excavators think that the eight children and 12 adults associated with the elite mummy were sacrificed to accompany him. They were wrapped in cotton cloth and tied up with cords.


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Image: The body of the elite man, found clasping his hands to his face, pictured in December 2021. Credit: Klebher Vasquez/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.