Scientists have unearthed an Inca-era tomb beneath a house in the heart of Peru’s capital Lima, a burial believed to contain cloth-wrapped remains along with pottery and fine ornaments.
Lead archaeologist Julio Abanto told Reuters the 500-year-old tomb contained “multiple burial bundles” wrapped in cloth.
He said those buried likely belonged to the elite of ruricancho society, a culture that once populated present-day Lima before the mighty Inca came to rule a sprawling empire across western South America in the 15th century.
Famous for their gold and sophisticated constructions, including the royal mountaintop retreat of Machu Picchu, the Incas were defeated by Spanish invaders in 1532.
Hipólito Tica, the owner of the house in Lima, said he was overwhelmed with emotion at the surprise find. “It’s amazing. I really don’t have any other words to describe it,” he said, expressing the hope that future generations in the working-class neighborhood of San Juan de Lurigancho will better appreciate the rich history that surrounds them.
Excavations began in May after Tica’s construction plans for his property triggered a required archaeological survey. The district of Lima is known for hundreds of archaeological finds from the past of cultures that developed before and after the Inca.