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Nazca Mummies
Human Mummy
Peru
Biographical Information
Name(s) Nazca Mummies or Chuachilla Mummies
Age The cemetery dates from around 1,000 AD (Wikipedia, 2016)
Sex Unknown
Status Unknown
Height Unknown
Source
Culture Nazca
Date(s) 200-1,000 AD
Site Chuachilla Cemetery
Current Location
Location Peru
Catalog #

This necropolis contains “prehispanic mummified human remains” of the Nazca people in mud-brick tombs; it was probably in use between about AD 200 and AD 900. The cemetery was discovered in the 1920s.

What remains of the cemetery is an incomplete image, as the graves have been ravaged by grave robbers who have left bones and pottery scattered. The cemetery was plundered by robbers for years, but has been protected by the Peruvian government since 1997.

Mummification

The preservation of multiple bodies is due to environment in which the bodies were buried. The arid desert environment coupled with the culture's burial rites preserved the bodies and created mummies
Usuario Colegota

mummies in situ facing east

(Scribol, 2017). An example of one burial ritual was the coating of skin with a resin, “which is believed to have kept insects away and slowed down the effects of bacteria” (Scribol, 2017). They are all typical South American bundle or bale mummies; wrapped and in a seated, or often, a fetal position.

Archaeologists believe the mummification process involved removal of the intestines and the internal organs. The body was then cleaned by oil and plant medicine, the belly sewn closed, and the body covered in cotton. Autopsies of many Nazca mummies have revealed many don’t have organs. Additionally hanging bodies from posts at the nearby site of Estaqueria to begin the drying process, painting them with a resin that kept out bacteria, and placing them in purpose built mud-brick tombs.

Studies

A study of bones revealed calcium levels of 80%, likely due to a diet high in fish and seashells.

Pathology

Dental health seems remarkably good.

Additional

Chauchilla Cemetery is located 28.5 km (17.7 mi) south-east of the city of Nazca. To date, there are 12 unearthed tombs.

References

Scribol (2017) 13 Creepiest mummies on earth. http://scribol.com/anthropology-and-history/archaelogy/13-creepiest-mummies-on-earth/

Wikipedia (2016, December 9). Chauchilla Cemetery. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chauchilla_Cemetery\    

https://www.thevintagenews.com/2018/09/15/chauchilla-cemetery-in-peru/

https://trekchick26.com/2015/08/21/necropolis-chauchilla-the-mummies-of-nazca/

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