A team of researchers has announced the discovery of dozens of tombs buried inside a ceremonial site from Peru. The site is considered to be approximately 1,200 years old and in each of the tombs the archaeologists found up to 40 mummies, from adults to fetuses.
The team of researchers consisted of more than 30 experts from US, Canada, Peru and Sweden. They have managed to excavate 171 mummies from seven tombs in Tenahaha. These mummies were discovered between 2004 and 2007, according to the researchers.
The remains were not all in good conditions mostly because they have been affected by water or rodents that used to feed on the mummified bodies.
Also, the researchers observed that some tombs had broken remains.
In order to determine the age of the site, the researchers used radiocarbon dating technique, which revealed that the burial site had been built sometime between 800 and 1000 A.D.
According to the historians, during this period, Peru was going through a series of important changes, like agricultural expansion, population boom and class differences.
But based on the way the mummies had been arranged inside the tombs, the researchers believe that the civilization was actually a community where there was equality between the people, even though some believe that there were leaders.
Justin Jennings, one of the archaeologists involved in the project and a curator at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, explained that some of the mummies were found intact, while others seem to have been broken apart.
According to Jennings, some people have been moved around in the tombs, but they remained together. Also, rocks and earth were used to separated individuals or groups, the study suggests.
The archaeologists believe that the people of ancient city of Tenahaha lived very peacefully, based on the pottery found at the site, which depicted images of people smiling.
Based on what they found, the researchers say that the site could have been used as a common ground where the dead were buried, or it could have been used also a site for celebrations.
Jennings stated in an interview that the civilization they’ve discovered lived during a period of great change and the people dealt with that through violent actions.
Jennings added in the interview that:
“Tenahaha was placed in part to deal with those changes, to find a way outside of violence, to deal with periods of radical cultural change.”
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