According to the BBC, Archaelogists in Peru have unearthed a royal tomb with treasures and mummified women from about 1,200 years ago.
The discovery, made north of Lima, is expected to shed new light on the Wari empire that ruled in the Andes before the rise of the Inca civilisation.
Reports suggest that more then 60 skeletons were found inside the tomb, including three Wari queens buried with gold and silver jewellery and colourfully painted ceramics.
Mummified bodies were found sitting upright, which indicates royalty.
Archaelogists say the tomb was found in El Castillo de Huarmey, which is around 280 km (175 miles) north of Lima.
“We have found for the first time in Peruvian archaeological history, an imperial tomb of the Wari culture,” co-director of the project, Milosz Giersz was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.
“The contents of the chamber consisted of 63 human bodies, most of them women, wrapped in funerary bundles buried in typical seated position, a native Wari pattern.”
Wieslaw Wieckowski, a forensic archaeologist, said that the position of the bodies indicated human sacrifice.
“Six of the skeletons we fount in the grave were not in the textiles. They were placed on top of the other burials in very strange positions, so we believe that they were sacrifices,” he said.
“The fact that most of the skeletons were of women and the very rich grace goods, leads us to the interpretation that this was a tomb of the royal elite and that also changes our point of view on the position of the women in the Wari culture.”
Archaeologists had spent months secretly digging through the burial chambers at the site due to fears the site would be raided by grave robbers.
- Ancient royal tomb unearthed in Peru (bbc.co.uk)
- First Unlooted Royal Wari Tomb Discovered in Peru (hngn.com)
- Royal Peruvian tomb with scores of mummified women sheds light on Wari empire (abc.net.au)
- Mummified women found in massive pre-Incan burial tomb in Peru (rawstory.com)