A 3,000-year-old mummy — purportedly buried in a ritual sacrifice — was discovered by archeologists who dug through eight tons of trash at a garbage dump in Peru.
Traces of the grisly artifact were first discovered earlier in the year at a local dump in Lima when hair still clinging to the mummy’s skull was spotted protruding from the ground.
That prompted researchers from San Marcos University to spend months removing up to 15,000 pounds of garbage to clear the entire dig site.
When it was finally uncovered, the mummy was found to have been interred at the center of a U-shaped temple which experts said was characteristic of tombs made by the Manchay culture between 1,500 and 1,000 BCE.
Researchers determined the remains belonged to a male. The body has not yet been carbon-dated to determine its exact age.
The mummy was surrounded by coca leaves and seashells. National Major University of San Marcos archeology professor Miguel Aguilar said the additions indicated it was buried as part of a sacrificial ritual.
Aguilar said the mummy “had been left or offered [as a sacrifice] during the last phase of the construction of this temple. It is approximately 3,000 years old.”
Its extremities were also bound in vegetable-based rope, which further supported the sacrificial burial theory, according to CBS News.
Ancient fly egg remains were found alongside the body, suggesting it may have been left out for several days before finally being buried, Aguilar said.
A number of ancient walls were also found around the dump where the body was located. The Ministry of Culture said the area was a sacred location for the local ancients.
Ancient mummies are not infrequent finds in Lima. As recently as April, the mummy of a child believed to have been a part of a 1,000-year-old human sacrifice was discovered at an extensive archeological site on the outskirts of the city.
Another six mummies were found at the site in 2022.
In April, a deliveryman was even found strolling around the city with an 800-year-old mummy in a cooler bag. He said the body was his “spiritual girlfriend.”
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