Pachacamac Mummies
Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Pachacamac Mummies
Age ~1,100 yo
Sex both
Status mixed
Culture pre-Incan culture: Ychsma
Date(s) A.D. 200 - 1400s.
Site Peru
Current Location
Catalog #

Pachacama is an archaeological site located in the Valley of the Lurin River, 40 km southeast of Peru’s capital, Lima. This site was thought to have been first settled in A.D. 200, and inhabited continuously until the Spanish Conquest in the 1530s.Pre-Incan people were conquered by Incas, whom incorporated the god of the pre-incas Pachu Kamaq in their pantheon. Pachamac was a place were dead were buried as well as a religious site


Archaeologists found a cemetery set apart for the mamacuna (Virgins of the Sun), women who held an important position in the temple services. Many of the women still had the cotton garrotte used to strangle them twisted around their necks. After being sacrificed, the women were wrapped in fine clothes, and buried in stone-lined tombs. Grave goods included cocoa, quinoa and cayenne pepper

Some well-preserved mummies were found around 3 m under the temple's northern terrace. These mummies are baled with a false head attached. Grave goods included farming and fishing tools, wine gourds, and foodstuff.

In 2012, archaeologists working in Pachacamac uncovered a 1,000 year old tomb in front of the Pachacamac Temple which contained more than 80 skeletons and mummies, many of which were infants. Offerings such as ceramic vessels, copper and gold alloy objects, masks of painted wood, dogs and guinea pigs were found.


Overall, the daily diet may have caused incidence of iron and protein deficiencies, and cassava’s use as a food staple could have caused a congenital abnormalities, such as dwarfism and spina bifida. A primary killer was pneumonia.

Mummy bale no. 26626, a child close to 12 years of age, showed excessive intracranial pressure in the scans, which suggested that she may have had tuberculous meningitis, or a brain tumor.


Efforts are underway to have the site declared an world heritage site to prevent development of the area.

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