The mummy of a teenager who lived roughly 800-1,200 years ago, complete with skin fragments and tufts of hair, has been unearthed on the outskirts of the Peruvian capital Lima, the leader of the excavation team said Tuesday.
The well-preserved remains of the child, who would have been about 12 or 13, were found during a dig at the Cajamarquilla archaeological site in a grave some two meters (6.5 feet) deep and covered by a large rock, team leader Yomira Huaman told AFP.
Cajamarquilla was a city built of mud in about 200 BC, in the pre-Inca period, and occupied until about 1500. It is thought to have been home to 10,000 to 20,000 people.
Huaman said the high salt content of the sand in the area likely caused a natural mummification of the youngster, whose gender has not been determined.
Bits of skin remained on the arms and legs, while hair was found on the head, which was separated from the body.
There were also remains of teeth in the jaw.
“The find is very important because it is so well preserved,” said Huaman, who leads a team of archaeologists from the University of San Marcos, in Lima.
Next to the mummy the team found a stone weapon, a plate, a copper needle, and remains of textile, corn and chili.
In February 2022, archaeologists found 20 mummies, including eight of children, at Cajamarquilla.