A Dive Into the 1000-Year-Old Archaeology-Found Mummies of Children in Peru

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An archaeologist works on one of five mummies, that according to archaeologists belong to the pre-Inca Ychsma culture that inhabited the central coast of Peru from approximately 900 to 1450 AD., at the Huaca La Florida archaeological site, in Lima, Peru, November 21, 2023. REUTERS/Anthony Marina

Human sacrifice was one of the rituals that characterised the Inca Empire that existed in the 13th century. The Inca deemed it a great honour to die through a sacrifice, hence, during auspicious events, children were mainly sacrificed. These were mainly children of noble birth.

The recent unearthing of four mummies of children in Peru has brought the exploration of the history of the Inca Empire. The mummies are believed to be 1000 years old. Archaeologists also add that the mummies belong to the pre-Inca Ychsma culture that inhabited the central coast of Peru from approximately 900 to 1450 AD.

In addition to the mummies of children, researchers also discovered a hidden temple believed to have been built some 3,500 years ago, said Luis Takuda, an archaeologist in Lima’s Rimac district.

“This whole area is a very important ceremonial chamber,” Takuda said. “The people who lived here during the Ychsma period still considered it a sacred space and therefore buried their dead here.”

Takuda reveals the skulls of children unveiled at the archaeological site still have hairs on them.

The last time archaeologists discovered Inca child mummies was on March 16, 1999, by Johan Reinhard. The three mummies unearthed contained the children of Llullaillaco. They were drugged with coca and alcohol and then buried inside a small chamber 1.5 metres (5 ft) beneath the ground to die.

This sacrifice took place around 1500.  The findings of March 1999 are considered to be among the best-preserved mummies in the world by archaeologists.

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