Lime — On a hill Limecovered until a few months ago by tons of garbage, Peruvian archaeologists found five mummies from cultures prior to the Inca Empire in a special site for pre-Hispanic cultures that was called “huaca,” a Quechua word that means oracle or sacred place.
The funerary vestiges, with human remains covered with bundles of vines of plant origin, correspond to four minors and one adult placed in the fetal position and are around 1,000 years old.Peruvian archaeologist Luis Takuda, who directs the “Huaca La Florida” research project, which is also less than three kilometers from the presidential palace, announced to The Associated Press on Monday.
The hill on which the discovery was made, which has remains of ancient mud walls, is in a Lima neighborhood surrounded by houses and located next to a training field of one of the main Peruvian professional soccer teams.
In Lima there are more than 400 huacas, according to the Ministry of Culture. These sacred places are distributed throughout the city and are part of the daily landscape of the Peruvian capital.
The bone remains, belonging to the pre-Inca Ichma culture, were found on stairs of a “U”-shaped adobe temple, an architectural characteristic of pre-Inca constructions. The cause of death of the remains found has not been established at this time.
In June, the same research team found another skeleton with long hair that was lying in a supine position.
Takuda said that these recent finds were surrounded by pieces of light red ceramics, with characteristics of the Ichma culture and artifacts for making textiles.
Hector Walde, dean of the professional association of archaeologists of Peru and who is not involved in the project, explained to the AP that Although human sacrifices are continuous practices in pre-Hispanic times, the bundles that have been found recently are normal burials, of people who have been buried there later in sacred spaces that were no longer in use at that time.
“They were already ruins when they were reused as funerary spaces”said Walde, who is also director of the Garagay archaeological project, a 3,500-year-old pre-Inca temple, in the northern area of the capital.
The team of excavators worked the first months of the year collecting up to eight tons of garbage that covered the top of the hill, located next to the training field and institutional headquarters of the Peruvian professional soccer team Sporting Cristal. The municipal police also had to remove homeless people or drug addicts who used to seek refuge around the hill.
In other parts of Lima, especially around the capital, along with other huacas or archaeological sites, there are also artisanal soccer fields where residents practice this sport, usually on Sundays.
Walde indicated that unfortunately the informal urban expansion in the Peruvian capital or the formal expansion in other areas of Lima, in some cases, “have occupied the boundaries of the huacas, they have suffocated them or they have cut them off.”