The preserved bodies are believed to be the remains of an elite woman and three children, one of which may have been sacrificed. All came from the Wari, or Huari, culture, a pre-Inca civilisation that spread along the Peruvian coast between 600 and 1,000 AD.
The discovery was made in the Huaca Puccllana archeological complex in Lima’s Miraflores neighbourhood. The semi-circular tomb was found at the top of the site’s main pyramid – a 25-metre structure made of adobe and clay – and was untouched by looters.
So far archeologists have been unable to determine the age or sex of the primary mummy, but the ornamental offerings left with the body – including several ceramic vessels and textile bags decorated with amorphous drawings – suggest that it was a woman.