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South American Mummies (Peruvian; Inca; Pre-Inca; etc.)



According to the BBC archaeologists have made a major find of mummified corpses in Peru (link here * ):

* Mummy trove found in Peru

'Archaeologists have discovered a collection of thousands of mummies in a shanty town close to the Peruvian capital Lima.

They date from the last years of the Inca civilisation, around 500 years ago.

The scientists describe the find as an unparalleled opportunity to learn more about Inca society.

So far, the archaeologists have retrieved about 2,200 mummies, though they believe there could be as many as 10,000 altogether.

The mummified corpses come from every part of Inca society - rich and poor, young and old.

Some are still wearing head-dresses made of feathers which marked them out as high-ranking people.'

Anybody remember that (Horizon?) program on a while ago about the corpses of mummified child sacrifice victims being found near the tops of mountains in South America? Really fascinating but I don't know much about the background or as much as I should about ancient South American civilisations. Any specialists out there?
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This is probably no less than a revolution in our understanding of them.
Very interesting. I just happened to watch a program on the Discovery Channel last night discussing the pyramids of Eygpt and Central America, and they briefly touched on the similarities of the cultures, including mummification. I can't wait to see if any new or major revisions have to be made to our current thinking of the Inca's in light of this discovery.
Modern scourge seen in ancient mummies

Andean remains reveal evidence of Chagas parasite

The Associated Press
Updated: 5:01 p.m. ET Feb. 02, 2004

WASHINGTON - Chagas disease, a deadly parasitic blood illness that recently has drawn attention in this country, has infected some South and Central Americans for at least 9,000 years, researchers said Monday.

The Red Cross, alarmed about reports of Chagas disease in the United States, announced last year that it expects to begin testing donated blood for the disease. Seven cases, spread by transfusions, have been reported in the United States and Canada since 1986.

Now a team of researchers led by Arthur C. Aufderheide of the University of Minnesota School of Medicine in Duluth reports evidence that the disease infected residents of the coastal Andes mountains as long as 9,000 years ago.

The team tested 283 mummies and found evidence for the DNA of the parasite that causes the disease on almost 41 percent, they report in the online issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Chagas disease is caused by the trypanosome parasite, which burrows into its host’s tissue and multiplies. There is no cure, and the disease eventually overwhelms patients’ systems. The parasite is spread by insects that feed on blood.

The mummies were preserved naturally, dried out in the arid climate of the Andes around what is now Peru.

Humans began to populate the area around 7050 B.C., and the team found evidence of the disease in about the same percentage of mummies, regardless of how old they were or the age or sex of the person.

The researchers point out in the paper that the insect-friendly thatch housing widely used in ancient times still is common in the area.

Link is dead. The original article can be accessed via the Wayback Machine:

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More Inca mummy finds:

Dozens of Inca Mummies Found on Outskirts of Lima

Fri 5 March, 2004 22:53

By Tania Mellado

LIMA, Peru (Reuters) - Dozens of mummies dating back more than 500 years have been discovered on the path of a proposed highway on the outskirts of the Peruvian capital, near an Inca graveyard, archeologists said on Friday.

Archeologists uncovered 26 burial bundles, each containing one or more adult and child mummies dating from 1472 to 1532.

In 1533, the Incas were defeated at the hands of the Spanish conquistadors.

"This (area) is part of the largest Inca cemetery in Peru and the largest excavated cemetery in the Western Hemisphere, that of Puruchuco-Huaquerones," said archeologist Guillermo Cock, who was contracted by Lima's town hall to comb the area for artifacts before construction could begin.

Cock said archeologists did not know the exact number of mummies at the site because they had not opened any of the bundles, which are still half-buried.

Some were already broken, exposing skulls and showing several hunched mummies with cloth bags tied to their bodies and offerings in their hands.

The mummies were once farmers and craftsmen and lived under the dominion of the Lati and Ishma Inca leaders, who ruled over the Rimac River valley, home to modern-day Lima, Cock said.

"These are local inhabitants, what we could now call middle class, belonging to the period of the Inca Empire, between 1472 and 1532," Cock told Reuters.

He said they were textile makers: "Ninety-nine percent of the tools in the tombs are used for such production, from dressmaking to cloth dying. There are needles and looms.

"The important thing about this discovery is that it is intact. ... The area around the mummies shows evidence of rituals prior to the burials. There are the remains of corn, beans, coca leaves and pots," Cock said.

Despite the finding, the town hall said the road -- an extension to a busy urban highway -- will go ahead.

"The works will not stop. They are an urban necessity. ... We will take the burial bales to a museum for conservation and for study. They could be plundered here," town hall spokesman Armando Molina said.

But archeologist Federico Kauffmann said Peru would be better off running the road through a tunnel under the site because it could yield further findings.

"In Peru, there is neither the money nor the techniques to preserve mummies, and there is no more space for mummies in the Puruchuco museum," he said.

Archeologists have uncovered thousands of mummies in Peru in recent years, mostly from the Inca culture five centuries ago, including about 2,000 unearthed from under a shantytown near the capital in 2002.

One of Peru's most famous mummies is "Juanita the Ice Maiden," a girl preserved in ice on a mountain. Last month, two mummies predating the Incas -- so well-preserved one had an eye intact -- were found under a school in southern Peru.

My cousin did a lot of digs in Peru.

He made no mention of Mummies though, and the wife he brought back was decidedly alive (although I have never met her, so I could be mistaken.)

Fancy going to Peru and seeing no mummies? every third person in that country is mummified!
Well-preserved mummies found in Peru

Archaeologists see signs of religious sacrifices

By Monica Vargas

Updated: 3:13 a.m. ET May 20, 2004

LIMA, Peru - A well-preserved graveyard possibly 1,000 years old has been discovered at an archaeological complex of Inca and pre-Inca temples on the outskirts of the Peruvian capital, experts said Wednesday.

Archaeologists this week unearthed the remains of 30 people, including 19 still intact as mummies, dating from between 1000 and 1500, making them some of the oldest mummies ever found in Peru.

They said that the discovery was “exceptional” because the site had not been plundered by grave robbers and that some of the dead were religious sacrifices.

“It is an exceptional discovery that shows the remains of several cultures buried on top of each other. According to our calculations they date from between 1000 and 1500,” archaeologist Peter Eeckhout of Brussels Free University, who led the excavation project, told reporters Wednesday.

It was not clear to which cultures the mummies belonged, but they were likely to have been farmers and craftsmen who lived before the Inca empire five centuries ago.

The graveyard, which stretches over a 220-square-yard (200-square-meter) area, is within the boundaries of the Pachacamac archaeological complex, 19 miles (30 kilometers) south of Lima. Its discovery follows weeks of digs by archeologists.

The Pachacamac temple complex has been looted for valuable artifacts many times over since the first significant discoveries of mummies there over a century ago.

In the latest discovery, four of the mummies probably died as sacrifices and were either buried alive, killed by blows to the head or strangled, archaeologists said.

Holding up the remains of a 2-year-old boy, British archaeologist Lawrence Owens said: “The position of the body and the remains of his feces indicate he tried unsuccessfully to free himself from the burial bundle and was buried alive.”

Another of those sacrificed was a 12-year-old boy whose skull was cracked at the front, probably by a heavy blow.

“We found a tumi knife close to the body, and its size corresponds with that of the skull fracture,” Owens said.

“If you ask me if this was a ritual sacrifice, I would say yes,” he added. A mummified 35-year-old man with a rope around his neck was also among the four sacrificed, Owens said.

Archaeologists have uncovered thousands of mummies in recent years that mostly date from the Inca culture, including about 2,000 unearthed from under a shantytown near the capital in 2002. In February, two mummies predating the Incas were found under a school in southern Peru.

Link is dead. The MIA news article (quoted in full above) can be accessed via the Wayback Machine:
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Peru finds headless mummy predating Incas in Lima

Peru finds headless mummy predating Incas in Lima
By Marco Aquino

Archeologists have uncovered the remains of the oldest mummy ever found in Peru's capital, Lima -- a high-ranking official of the Huari tribe who lived about 1,300 years ago, researchers said on Wednesday.

The headless mummy was found in September in Lima's Huaca Pucllana ceremonial complex after studies and exploration at the site.

"He was decapitated and belongs to the Huari culture that invaded Lima," said archeologist Isabel Flores, director of the Huaca Pucllana museum, adding the Huaris predated the Incas, who dominated South America from Colombia to Chile until being toppled by Spanish conquerors in the 1530s.

"Judging by the clothes he is wearing, we're talking about a senior official who was buried wrapped in cloth and tied with rope made of vegetal fiber," Flores added.

The Huaris, a warrior society that conquered Peru's central Andes and coastal regions between 600 and 1000 A.D, were known for their high-quality textiles and pottery styles.

They were supplanted by Ichmas, who Flores said were likely responsible for decapitating the Huari official well after he was buried in an attempt to erase all vestiges of a tribe that dominated them for years.

"It was an act of rebellion against the Huaris. Without doubt, this gives us valuable information about ancient inhabitants of what is now Peru's capital," she added.

The mummy, which was found surrounded by tunics and food such as corn and beans, is not well preserved because of the humidity of Peru's coast. Its dried skin and bones are badly chipped and many of its ligaments are visible.

Peru has made some striking mummy discoveries in recent years. In February last year, two 700-year-old mummies were found in southern Peru by construction workers under a school. Thousands of Inca mummies were found at an ancient cemetery under a shantytown near Lima in 2002.

Link is dead. The MIA news article (quoted in full above) can be accessed via the Wayback Machine:
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Another pre-Incan mummy. Full text & picture at link.

Archeologists working at Peru's Huaca Pucllana ruins pulled a mummy from a tomb on Tuesday, thought to be from the ancient Wari culture that flourished before the Incas.

A mummy of the Wari prehispanic culture is seen inside a recently discovered tomb in Lima's Huaca Pucllana ceremonial complex August 26, 2008. Archaeologists working at the ruins of Huaca Pucllana in the country's capital pulled a mummy from a tomb on Tuesday, thought to be from the ancient Wari culture that flourished in modern-day Peru before the Incas. REUTERS/Enrique Castro-Mendivil

Besides the female mummy, the tomb contained the remains of two other adults and a child. It is the first intact Wari burial site discovered at Huaca Pucllana in the capital Lima, and researchers believe it dates from about 700 AD.

"We'd discovered other tombs before," said Isabel Flores, director of the ruins. "But they always had holes, or were damaged. Never had we found a whole tomb like this one -- intact," she said, standing on the ancient plaza, a huge partially excavated mound of rocks, bricks and dirt.

http://www.newsdaily.com/stories/n26365 ... chaeology/
Link is dead. No archived version found.
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Drugs Found in Hair of Ancient Andean Mummies
Charles Q. Choi
for National Geographic News

October 22, 2008

The first hard evidence of psychoactive drug use in the ancient Andes has been discovered in mummies' hair, a new study says.

The finding confirms that predecessors of the Inca known as the Tiwanaku used mind-altering substances, and hints that the civilization relied on far-reaching trade networks to obtain the drugs.

Scientists recently analyzed 32 naturally mummified Tiwanaku bodies discovered in northern Chile's Azapa Valley, which lies in the Atacama Desert.

The researchers discovered a compound called harmine in hairs from an adult male and a one-year-old baby, who both date to sometime between A.D. 800 and 1200. Harmine can help humans absorb hallucinogens and may be a powerful antidepressant.

"These individuals probably ingested harmine in therapeutic or medicinal practices, some maybe related to pregnancy and childbirth," said study co-author Juan Pablo Ogalde, a chemical archaeologist at the University of Tarapacá in Arica, Chile.

"However, it is possible also that consumption of harmine was involved in religious rituals, said Ogalde, whose research appeared online October 14 in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

X-rays showed that the adult male—who was buried with items of social prestige such as panpipes, a four-pointed hat, and a snuffing tray—had damage near the nose, perhaps from sniffing.

As for the baby, Ogalde speculated that the mother had consumed the drug and passed it on to her offspring during pregnancy or breast-feeding.

"The fact this mind-altering substance was found even with a one-year-old shows how much a part of their life it was," said archaeologist Alexei Vranich of the University of California, Los Angeles, who did not participate in the study.

Habitual Users

The empire of the Tiwanaku once ranged from what is now northern Chile to southern Peru. (See a map of South America.) Between roughly A.D. 500 and 1000, they expanded from their origins on the Bolivian shores of Lake Titicaca via religious control and military might.

Elaborately decorated snuffing kits have been found in hundreds of Tiwanaku tombs. Archaeologists think these trays and tubes were used to inhale herbs, perhaps ceremonially.

Some snuff kits have been found bearing powder from the vilca tree, whose seeds are rich in hallucinogens. Also, X-rays of Tiwanaku skulls have in many cases revealed nasal damage that was likely caused by frequent sniffing.

The incorporation of snuffing imagery into Tiwanaku ceramics, woodwork, stonework, and textiles have been seen to suggest that snuffing rituals played an important role in Tiwanaku culture.

Still, no traces of hallucinogens had been found in Tiwanaku mummies until now, perhaps because the compounds broken down over time.

Drug Trade

The only plant in South America known to contain harmine is the jungle vine Banisteriopsis caapi, which is used by modern-day Amazonian natives to help make an infusion known as ayahuasca for shamanic rituals. (Read more about ayahuasca.)

This rain forest plant does not grow along the Atacama coast, suggesting extensive trade networks that brought the vine from as far as the Amazon rainforest. The Amazon is roughly 300 miles (500 kilometers) from the Azapa Valley, study co-author Ogalde said.

"A lot of people had suggested contact across the Amazon and the Atacama desert, and it's nice to have more hard data for that theory," said UCLA's Vranich.

The Tiwanaku may have actively searched for exotic hallucinogens to draw others to their culture, Vranich said.

"One of the sources of the mystique of the Tiwanaku—one of the reasons a lot of people may have subscribed to their religion—would have been such a mind-altering substance," he explained.

"It would have been a tremendous draw, especially when the rest of normal life in the rural Andes during that period would have been comparatively quite mundane and dull."

Link is dead. No archived version found.
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Ancient mummy had lung infection, according to novel proteomics analysis
July 25th, 2012 in Other Sciences / Archaeology & Fossils

The children of Llullallaico. Image: PLoS ONE 7(7): e41244. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041244

A 500-year-old frozen Incan mummy suffered from a bacterial lung infection at the time of its death, as revealed by a novel proteomics method that shows evidence of an active pathogenic infection in an ancient sample for the first time. The full report is published July 25 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.

Detecting diseases in ancient remains is often fraught with difficulty, especially because of contamination. Techniques based on microbe DNA can easily be confused by environmental contamination, and they can only confirm that the pathogen was present, not that the person was infected, but the researchers behind the study, led by Angelique Corthals of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, found a way around this problem. They used proteomics, focusing on protein rather than DNA remains, to profile immune system response from degraded samples taken from 500 year-old mummies.

The team swabbed the lips of two Andean Inca mummies, buried at 22,000-feet elevation and originally discovered in 1999, and compared the proteins they found to large databases of the human genome. They found that the protein profile from the mummy of a 15-year old girl, called "The Maiden," was similar to that of chronic respiratory infection patients, and the analysis of the DNA showed the presence of probably pathogenic bacteria in the genus Mycobacterium, responsible for upper respiratory tract infections and tuberculosis. In addition, X-rays of the lungs of the Maiden showed signs of lung infection at the time of death. Proteomics, DNA, and x-rays from another mummy found together with the Maiden did not show signs of respiratory infection.

"Pathogen detection in ancient tissues isn't new, but until now it's been impossible to say whether the infectious agent was latent or active," says Corthals. "Our technique opens a new door to solving some of history's biggest mysteries, such as the reasons why the flu of 1918 was so devastating. It will also enhance our understanding of our future's greatest threats, such as the emergence of new infectious agents or re-emergence of known infectious diseases."

"Our study is the first of its kind since rather than looking for the pathogen, which is notoriously difficult to do in historical samples, we are looking at the immune system protein profile of the "patient", which more accurately tells us that there was indeed an infection at the time of death." or "Our study opens the door to solving many historical and current biomedical and forensic mysteries, from understanding why the plague of 1918 was so lethal, to finding out which pathogen is responsible for death in cases of multiple infections."

More information: Corthals A, Koller A, Martin DW, Rieger R, Chen EI, et al. (2012) Detecting the Immune System Response of a 500 Year-Old Inca Mummy. PLoS ONE 7(7): e41244. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041244

Provided by Public Library of Science

"Ancient mummy had lung infection, according to novel proteomics analysis." July 25th, 2012. http://phys.org/news/2012-07-ancient-mu ... omics.html

Link is dead. The MIA news article (quoted in full above) can be accessed via the Wayback Machine:
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Inca mummies: Child sacrifice victims fed drugs and alcohol
By Rebecca Morelle
Science reporter, BBC World Service

Tests on the 13-year-old's hair revealed she was given large amounts of alcohol

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Tests on three mummies found in Argentina have shed new light on the Inca practice of child sacrifice.

Scientists have revealed that drugs and alcohol played a key part in the months and weeks leading up to the children's deaths.

Tests on one of the children, a teenage girl, suggest that she was heavily sedated just before her demise.

The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr Emma Brown, from the department of archaeological sciences at the University of Bradford, said: "The Spanish chroniclers suggest that children were sacrificed for all kinds of reasons: important life milestones in the lives of the Incas, in times of war or natural disasters, but there was a calendar of rituals too."

Frozen in time

The mummified remains were discovered in 1999, entombed in a shrine near the summit of the 6,739m-high Llullaillaco volcano in Argentina.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

They've been called the best preserved mummies in the world”

Dr Emma Brown
University of Bradford
Three children were buried there: a 13-year-old girl, and a younger boy and girl, thought to be about four or five years old.

Their remains date to about 500 years ago, during the time of the Inca empire, which dominated South America until the Europeans arrived at the end of the 15th Century.

"The preservation is phenomenal - they've been called the best preserved mummies in the world," explained Dr Brown.

"These three children look like they are asleep."

The international team of researchers used forensic tests to analyse the chemicals found in the children's hair.

They discovered that all three had consumed alcohol and coca leaves (from which cocaine is extracted) in the final months of their lives.

Historical records reveal that these substances were reserved for the elite and often used in Incan rituals.

Death from exposure

An analysis of the teenage girl's hair, which was longer than the hair of the younger victims, revealed more.

The girl, known as the "Llullaillaco maiden", was probably considered more highly valued than the younger children, because of her virginal status.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

With the combination of being placed in the grave with the alcohol and the cold... she would have passed away quietly”

Dr Emma Brown
University of Bradford
Tests on her long braids revealed that her coca consumption increased sharply a year before her death.

The scientists believe this corresponds to the time she was selected for sacrifice. Earlier research also reveals that her diet changed at this point too, from a potato-based peasant diet to one rich in meat and maize.

Dr Brown explained: "From what we know of the Spanish chronicles, particularly attractive or gifted women were chosen. The Incas actually had someone who went out to find these young women and they were taken from their families."

The results also revealed that the girl ingested large amounts of alcohol in the last few weeks of her life.

It suggests she was heavily sedated before she and the other children were taken to the volcano, placed in their tombs and left to die.

"In the case of the maiden, there is no sign of violence. She is incredibly well looked after: she has a good layer of fat, she has beautifully groomed hair, beautiful clothes," said Dr Brown.

"In this case we think with the combination of being placed in the grave with the alcohol and the cold - the mountain is over 6,000m above sea level - she would have passed away quietly."

The mummies are now housed in the Museum of High Altitude Archaeology in Salta, Argentina.
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I put the above in this thread as it relates to the previous post. Incas were predominately associated with Peru. The posts could be moved or the thread renamed I guess.
Ancient mummies found in Lima suburb

The child is believed to have been buried alive after the death of the adult, as Katy Hastings reports

Archaeologists in Peru have found two mummies more than 1,000 years old in a suburb of the capital, Lima.

The mummies - of an adult and a child - were found at an ancient religious complex which has been under excavation since 1981.

The child is believed to have been an offering to the gods and may have been buried alive after the adult's death.

Researchers also found other offerings including the remains of guinea pigs and jars with feline designs.

"This is one of the most important finds in more than three decades of excavation, because the mummies are intact," researcher Gladys Paz told the AFP news agency.

The mummies are squatting and are fully dressed wrapped in rope.

It is the third intact find among more than 70 tombs uncovered in the Huaca Pucllana tomb, a pyramid-like temple built by the pre-Columbian Wari culture between 100 and 600 AD in what is now the Miraflores neighbourhood.

In 2010, archaeologists found the remains of a woman with four children, and in 2008, the remains of a teenage girl.

The site was built on 2.5 hectares of land and towers over 20m (66ft) high. So far, only about 40% has been excavated.

The Wari culture flourished between AD 500 to 1,000 on the coastal area of northern Peru.

Little is known about them, as they did not appear to leave a written record.
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Time to resurrect this thread with another Chagas case.

South American mummy ritually sacrificed

Frontal view of the mummy which reveals typical squatting position

The mummy was brought to Germany by a Bavarian princess

A previously unidentified female mummy was killed in a ritual sacrifice in South America, new research has found.

A team of scientists analysed the skull to find evidence of a blunt trauma to the head, suggesting she died very quickly from the blow.

DNA analysis also revealed she suffered from a parasitic infection called Chagas disease, they write in Plos One.

Her symptoms indicated she would not have lived for much longer even if she had escaped her killers.

Chagas is still endemic in South America - especially those living in poverty - and can be deadly if not treated early.

Andreas Nerlich, co-author of the study from Munich University, Germany, said that the girl was likely to have come from a poor family.

"The parasite lives in mud-brick walls typical of those from lower social classes, not in stone houses or better equipped, cleaner surroundings," he told BBC News.

For more than 100 years, it was unclear where the mummy was from, but now detailed CT scans, injury reconstructions and DNA evidence have finally given clues to her origin.

Detailed view of face
The mummified woman is over 500 years old, and would have died in her early 20s.

She is thought to have arrived in Germany after a Bavarian princess brought her back from an expedition to South America in 1898.

Where exactly she would have lived remains unclear, but based on a stable isotope analysis of her bones and hair, her diet was rich in fish. The researchers therefore suggest she lived near the Peruvian or Northern Chilean coast line.

The rope which tied her plaits was made out of material that originated in South America and her skull formation was also typical of the Inca people.

She was killed and buried in a hot and dry sandy region that resulted in natural mummification. For many years, however, it was simply assumed she was a German bog body.

"We assumed she died in a ritual killing but we have no clear evidence from written sources," explained Prof Nerlich.

Three dimensional reconstruction
A 3D reconstruction highlighted signs of a massive cranial injury
"Present-day techniques offer such a wealth of information that we can reconstruct various aspects of past lives, diseases and death."

The analysis will now help scientists understand the origin of the Chagas pathogen and its molecular construction.

Evidence of ritual sacrifice in South American mummies is well documented.

In the Incan empire, young girls were often given up to the sun god in religious rituals. The parents and local communities of sacrificed victims were consequently highly respected.

Emma Brown from the department of archaeological sciences at the University of Bradford, UK, who was not involved with the study, said that due to the lack of contextual data it was hard to definitively say that the mummy was a human sacrifice.

"This individual is older than the usual profile of ritually killed females, who are typically around the age of 13 or 14," Dr Brown told the BBC.

"It is important to recognise the historical context of this mummy. The radiocarbon dates cover the period of the Spanish conquest of the Americas.

"Historical records describe repressive and extreme forms of violence and recent bio-archaeological investigations of conquest-era cemeteries have revealed that many types of trauma, including massive blunt force cranial trauma [shown here] are quite common," she added.

External appearance of the hair plaits

By Melissa Hogenboom
Science reporter, BBC News
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Students discover 7,000-year-old mummy in Chile
May 26th, 2014 in Other Sciences / Archaeology & Fossils

A group of Chinchorro mummies on display in the cultural centre of the La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago, on August 27, 2008

A group of students discovered a 7,000-year-old mummy during a trip to northern Chile, local media reported Monday.

La Tercera newspaper reported that the find was made by chance Saturday during a visit to the Morro de Arica site by local students.

The children, at-risk youths enrolled in an archeology workshop, were performing excavation work when one found a strange shape under dog droppings.

Ancient archeological artifacts have been forced toward the surface following the powerful 8.2 earthquake that rocked the region in April, reports say.
Trip organizer Hans Neira said the discovery of the mummy, part of the Chinchorro culture, showed that the area should be declared a protected zone.

© 2014 AFP

"Students discover 7,000-year-old mummy in Chile." May 26th, 2014. http://phys.org/news/2014-05-students-y ... chile.html
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French archaeologists are carefully preparing a 1,000-year-old Peruvian mummy ahead of a new exhibition. The mummy, a women believed to have been around 50 years old when she was ceremonially buried in the ancient settle of Pachacamac, near Lima, is due to go on display to the public at the Musee de Confluences in Lyons later this month. She will form part of an exhibition examining human representations of death in different ages and cultures from around the world.

Archaeologists have been careful to preserve the frail – if well-preserved – mummy, keeping her in the same foetal position as when she was first discovered in 2012. ...

Saving Chilean mummies from climate change
March 9, 2015

Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

At least two thousand years before the ancient Egyptians began mummifying their pharaohs, a hunter-gatherer people called the Chinchorro living along the coast of modern-day Chile and Peru developed elaborate methods to mummify not just elites but all types of community members--men, women, children, and even unborn fetuses. Radiocarbon dating as far back as 5050 BC makes them the world's oldest human-made mummies.

Peruvian Alien Mummies!

Peruvian Congressman Brings Ufologist and Fringe Scientists to Congress to Promote Nazca "Alien" Mummies

Do you remember the story about the supposed “alien” mummies in Peru that ate up so much air time over at Gaia TV last year? The ones that were chalk-white and had weird, long-fingered hands? Well, it turns out that the three-fingered corpses, which scientific investigation determined to be crudely manipulated human bodies altered to appear extraterrestrial, aren’t done causing trouble. According to Spanish-language media accounts, Mexican ufologist Jaime Maussen traveled to Peru to make a case at the country’s federal legislature on November 19 that the Peruvian government both protect the mummies and investigate their “mysterious” origins. A report by Victor Roman in N+1 this past week gives the following account:

Despite repeated denunciations by the international scientific community, Peruvian legislator Armando Villanueva [Mercado] ended up providing a platform to a ufologist, who presented at the Andean country’s own Congress an investigation lacking proper scientific rigor on a supposed “humanoid mummy.”

As we previously reported, the controversial Mexican journalist and ufologist Jaime Maussan traveled to Peru to “present the results” of his “investigation” into a supposed humanoid mummy found in Nazca, a region south of Lima, Peru. This case has been promoted by Maussan since 2017. ...
Peruvian Alien Mummies!

Peruvian Congressman Brings Ufologist and Fringe Scientists to Congress to Promote Nazca "Alien" Mummies

Do you remember the story about the supposed “alien” mummies in Peru that ate up so much air time over at Gaia TV last year? The ones that were chalk-white and had weird, long-fingered hands? Well, it turns out that the three-fingered corpses, which scientific investigation determined to be crudely manipulated human bodies altered to appear extraterrestrial, aren’t done causing trouble. According to Spanish-language media accounts, Mexican ufologist Jaime Maussen traveled to Peru to make a case at the country’s federal legislature on November 19 that the Peruvian government both protect the mummies and investigate their “mysterious” origins. A report by Victor Roman in N+1 this past week gives the following account:

Despite repeated denunciations by the international scientific community, Peruvian legislator Armando Villanueva [Mercado] ended up providing a platform to a ufologist, who presented at the Andean country’s own Congress an investigation lacking proper scientific rigor on a supposed “humanoid mummy.”
As we previously reported, the controversial Mexican journalist and ufologist Jaime Maussan traveled to Peru to “present the results” of his “investigation” into a supposed humanoid mummy found in Nazca, a region south of Lima, Peru. This case has been promoted by Maussan since 2017. ...
This crap has been going on since the "Piltdown Man". Then it wasn't long ago that elongated skulls formed a similar controversy, in that case it was an ancient binding technique.
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A few years ago, I was in Bolivia. There is a volcano next to the salt flats and in a small cave on the volcano was a number of mummies. Natural mummification, rather than embalming.
Parrot and macaw mummies from the pre-Inca Tiwanaku era attest to the value attributed to these birds' feathers and trade which brought them to the Pacific coastal deserts from the Amazon region.
Mummified parrots suggest ancient trade routes crossed South American desert

The recovery of ancient mummified parrots in South America, dating to between 1100 and 1450 AD, suggest trade routes crossed the Atacama Desert, according to a study published Monday in PNAS.

"Feathers are valued across the Americas and we see them in high-status burials," José M. Capriles , said in a press release. ...

"We don't know how the feathers got there, the routes they took or the network" ...

Northern Chile's Atacama Desert is the driest desert in the world, and parrots and macaws are not normally found in the region. ...

However, archaeologists have unearthed the feathers of the exotic birds at human burial sites, as well as the mummified remains of parrots and macaws. ...

The researchers conducted a survey of parrot and macaw remains collected in several of the region's museums. Most of the bird artifacts date to the reign of the Tiwanaku empire, prior to the rise of the Incans. ...

The survey of bird remains -- involving zooarchaeological analysis, isotopic dietary reconstruction, radiocarbon dating and ancient DNA testing -- showed scarlet macaws and at least five different parrot species were transported more than 300 miles from the eastern Amazon. ...

Several of the birds were found mummified with their beaks open and their tongues sticking out.

"We have absolutely no idea why they were mummified like this," said Capriles. "They seem to be eviscerated through their cloaca -- a common excretory and reproductive opening -- which helped to preserve them. Many times, they were wrapped in textiles or bags." ...

FULL STORY: https://www.upi.com/Science_News/2021/03/29/chile-parrots-macaws-ancient-desert-trade/1071617035268/
Here are the bibliographic details and abstract for the published report on the Tiwanaku-era parrot and macaw mummies.

Pre-Columbian transregional captive rearing of Amazonian parrots in the Atacama Desert
José M. Capriles, Calogero M. Santoro, Richard J. George, Eliana Flores Bedregal, Douglas J. Kennett, Logan Kistler, Francisco Rothhammer
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Apr 2021, 118 (15) e2020020118
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2020020118

The feathers of tropical birds were one of the most significant symbols of economic, social, and sacred status in the pre-Columbian Americas. In the Andes, finely produced clothing and textiles containing multicolored feathers of tropical parrots materialized power, prestige, and distinction and were particularly prized by political and religious elites. Here we report 27 complete or partial remains of macaws and amazon parrots from five archaeological sites in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile to improve our understanding of their taxonomic identity, chronology, cultural context, and mechanisms of acquisition. We conducted a multiproxy archaeometric study that included zooarchaeological analysis, isotopic dietary reconstruction, accelerated mass spectrometry radiocarbon dating, and paleogenomic analysis. The results reveal that during the Late Intermediate Period (1100 to 1450 CE), Atacama oasis communities acquired scarlet macaws (Ara macao) and at least five additional translocated parrot species through vast exchange networks that extended more than 500 km toward the eastern Amazonian tropics. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes indicate that Atacama aviculturalists sustained these birds on diets rich in marine bird guano-fertilized maize-based foods. The captive rearing of these colorful, exotic, and charismatic birds served to unambiguously signal relational wealth in a context of emergent intercommunity competition.

SOURCE: https://www.pnas.org/content/118/15/e2020020118
If you are visiting Peru, i highly recommend you pay a visit to see 'Juanita the ice maiden' in Arequipa. Be aware that if you go during the summer, it likely you will only see an exact replica of the mummy, as during the summer heat the real mummy is kept in cold storage to preserve her.


"A visit to see the Juanita mummy Arequipa, at the Andean Sanctuaries Museum, is a must while exploring Arequipa, Peru’s second largest city. At this small museum, you get to see Incan history eerily up-close as you meet face-to-face with the macabre Ice Maiden Juanita. This offers an unforgettable, vivid understanding of Incan human sacrifice."

Twelve is a bit young to introduce to Oetzi...

Anyhow, no mention of Incan mountaineering prowess.

Mysterious mummy found in tomb in Peru with hands covering its face

A mummy, fully bound in ropes and with its hands covering its face, has been discovered in an underground tomb in Peru.


Archaeologists from the National University of San Marcos found the mummy in good condition in Cajamarquilla, a significant site 15.5 miles inland from the coastal city and capital Lima, Peru.

The mummy is estimated to be between 800 and 1200 years old.


Although the mummy’s striking pose – bound by ropes and in the foetal position – appears chilling at first sight, researchers believe it is a southern Peruvian funeral custom.

The tomb also contained ceramics, vegetable remains and stone tools.

Several marine molluscs were also discovered outside the tomb.

“After the body is placed in the tomb, there are constant events and activities,” Mr. Van Dalen Luna said.

“That is to say, their descendants keep coming back over many years and placing food and offerings there, including molluscs.”

The mummy, thought to be a male, likely predated the Inca civilization, which dominated the southern part of South America 500 years ago.


maximus otter
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3D computer tomography scans on 3 mummies from southern Peru and northern Chile provided the first evidence two of the three people died violently. This would not have been evident if the remains had consisted of skeletons alone.
South American Mummies Were Brutally Murdered, CT Scans Reveal

One secret of the past that can be revealed through the study of skulls and skeletons is how frequent violence was amongst our ancestors.

However, with their preserved soft tissues, mummified remains can be an even more telling indicator than bones alone.

That brings us to a new analysis of three pre-Columbian South American mummies, carried out with 3D computed tomography (3D CT) scans that use X-rays to view the internal state of the remains without having to open them up.

The research reveals that two out of these three people were brutally killed. ...
FULL STORY (With Photos): https://www.sciencealert.com/south-american-mummies-were-brutally-murdered-ct-scans-reveal
Analyses of mummies and ritual trophy heads from the pre-Inca Nazca culture demonstrate that human sacrifice victims ingested strong psychoactive substances prior to their ceremonial deaths.
Nazca child ingested psychoactive cactus just before ceremonial death in ancient Peru

Thousands of years ago, a child in Peru was sacrificed as part of an ancient ritual, their head severed at the neck and made into a type of trophy. A new analysis of a single hair plucked from the mummy's skull reveals that the child consumed a psychoactive cactus prior to execution, as part of the ceremony.

The child's preserved head was one of 22 human remains associated with the ancient Nazca society examined in a new study; all of these individuals lived during the pre-Hispanic era (3500 B.C. to A.D. 476) and were buried near the southern coast of Peru, where they were excavated during the Nazca Project, a long-running archaeological program that began in 1982. While scientists are uncertain of the child victim's sex and age at death, they reported that the child had ingested San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi), a prickly plant taken for its "strong hallucinogenic properties" and used by indigenous civilizations of the Americas in traditional medicines and during rituals.

"The trophy head is the first case of the consumption of San Pedro by an individual living on the southern Peruvian coast," study lead author Dagmara Socha ... told Live Science. "It's also the first evidence that some of the victims who were made into trophy heads were given stimulants before they died."

For the study, Socha and her team collected samples of individual hairs from four trophy heads, three of which belonged to adults, and from 18 mummies of both adults and children. Toxicological examinations revealed that many of the deceased had consumed some type of psychoactive or stimulant plant prior to their deaths. ...

Those ingested items included coca leaves, known as a source of the psychoactive substance cocaine, as well as San Pedro cactus, which contains mescaline, a psychedelic drug. The researchers also detected traces of Banisteriopsis caapi, the main compound in ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic beverage that contains harmine and harmaline (two compounds used in modern antidepressants). ...
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/psychoactive-plants-peru-trophy-head
See Also: https://www.sciencealert.com/before...his-nazca-child-was-drugged-with-psychedelics
'Weird and gross but true this 15-year-old girl lived in the Inca empire and was sacrificed 500 years ago as an offering to the gods.
She is preserved this well because she was frozen during sleep and kept in a dry cold condition at more than 6000 meters above sea level all this time. No other treatment was necessary.
Found in 1999 near the top of the Llullaillaco volcano, in northwestern Argentina, she was an archaeological revolution for being one of the best preserved mummies, since there was even blood in her body and her internal organs remained.