The Chauchilla Cemetery in Nazca Peru

View pre-hispanic mummies

Chauchilla cemetery visit

The essence of visiting the Chauchilla cemetery

A fascinating experience is a visit to the Chauchilla Cemetery. Established in 200 AD, and discovered in the 1920’s, the cemetery was continually plundered by grave robbers and nefarious pilferers but today, this ancient burial place has now been diligently pieced back together.

Home to many full-bodied mummies and a number of mummified heads, the human remains have been perfectly preserved due to the Peruvian Desert’s dry climate. Many of the bodies still have their hair and skin, over 1200 years post their passing.

The skulls reveal drilled holes, with a rope threaded through the orifice. Perhaps this upper part of the body was used as jewellery, a necklace or a rather large charm hanging off a belt.  It is easy to image them to have once been trophy heads, as was once originally believed. However, on further investigation these heads came from the same population as the full bodies so this theory, however dramatic, remains untrue.

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