Pre-Incan mummies found in Peru by gas workers

The mummified bodies of eight individuals have been found by city workers who were digging a natural gas line in the Carabayllo district on the outskirts of Lima, capital of Peru.

Experts believe the bodies are offerings that predate the Inca empire. The Inca incorporated the valleys, which now make up Lima, into their territories in the late 15th century. The Inca themselves were overrun by the Spanish 1535.

Human remains artefact pot dug buried unearthed archaeologist
An archaeologists recovers ancient human remains and artifacts discovered by workers excavating a street in a rural area in the northern district of Carabayllo in Lima, on September 22, 2023. Credit: Cris Bouroncle / AFP via Getty Images.

Lima has been occupied by humans for more than 10,000 years.

Alongside the bodies are relics that were buried with the eight individuals. Archaeologists say that the individuals include 6 adults and 2 children.

The find was unearthed by natural gas company Calidda which has produced more than 1,900 archaeological finds in the last 19 years through its excavations to expand its system of gas lines. Discoveries include mummies, pottery and textiles.

“We are recovering those leaves of the lost history of Lima that is just hidden under the tracks and streets,” says Calidda archaeologist Jesus Bahamonde in an article published on

Bahamonde says the individuals are wrapped in cotton cloth and tied with ropes made from woody liana vines. The trenches where the bodies were buried were only 30 cm below the surface.

It is believed that the mummies belong to the pre-Inca culture known as the Ichma (also, Yschma, as well as a number of other spellings). This culture formed about 1100 CE and expanded throughout what is now Lima before being subsumed into the Incan empire.

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