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15th century dog mummies discovered in Peru

Six mummified dogs dating back to the 15th century have been found at a pre-Columbian site south of Lima, Peru.

The dogs “have hair and complete teeth,” said Jesus Holguin, an archaeologist at the museum in Pachacamac, located some 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of Lima.

Holguin told AFP Wednesday that experts were still trying to determine their breed.

The mummified remains of four children were also found at the site, archaeologists said.

The mummified dogs were found two weeks ago wrapped in cloth and buried in one of Pachacamac’s adobe brick pyramids.

Archaeologists believe the animals were offerings related to a funeral, “although we do not know if this was related to an important personality of the Inca period,” said archaeologist Isabel Cornejo.

The experts believe the dogs are neither Hairless Peruvian Dogs — an ancient native breed — nor sheepdogs found at gravesites of the Chiribaya culture, which flourished in southern Peru between the years 900 and 1350.

“Their strong teeth lead us to believe that they are domestic dogs that were used for hunting,” added another expert, Enrique Angulo.

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