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Mummies unearthed in ancient Peru tomb

Archaeologists discover two mummies more than a thousand years old in pre-Incan cemetery in suburb of Lima.

Last Modified: 25 Oct 2013 10:38
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Archaeologists consider this discovery one of the most important in three decades of excavation [Reuters]

An archaeological site in the midst of Peru's bustling capital has yielded yet another pre-Incan discovery, an undisturbed Wari tomb containing two corpses wrapped in ceremonial fabric.

The tomb, estimated to be more than 1,000 years old, was found at the Pucllana archaeological site in Lima, archaeologists said on Thursday. It contained the bodies of an adult and an infant, along with nearly 10 intact artifacts.

The adult was likely a master weaver, said Isabel Flores, an archaeologist at Pucllana. The infant, she added, was probably killed and buried in the tomb as an offering in the adult's honour.

"When we unwrap the bodies, we will be able to determine the adult's age, position in society and gender," said Flores.

The Wari civilisation was active in an area that now contains Lima from approximately 600 to 1000 AD, about 500 years before the Inca empire emerged.

Seventy Wari tombs have been unearthed at the Pucllana site, which is nestled in a residential neighbourhood in central Lima.

But Flores and Gladys Paz, the head archaeologist of the team that made the discovery, both said that this most recent find is among the site's richest treasures yet.

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

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