The recent discovery of an Inca cemetery more than 500 years old, with remains of human bodies in funerary bundles woven with straw accompanied by vessels and other decorative objects, offers valuable data on ancestral identity and culture, noted Bolivian archaeologists.
More than a hundred human remains and more than 30 vessels, with which rites were performed common to the dead, are part of the discovery in a quarry operated by a mining company near La Paz, the archaeologist Jedu Sagárnaga told The Associated Press.
He indicated that within the common grave nobody was intact, as they had disintegrated. But they did find remains and among them elongated skulls, the product of artificial deformation, a common practice among the Incas to differentiate the social range of individuals, added the expert.
The cemetery belongs to the Pacajes culture, whose town was occupied by the Incas, explained Sagarnaga.
“The vessels are whole and are Inca,” he said.
For his part, the archaeologist Julio Condori, director of the Center for archaeological and anthropological research in Tiwanacu, said it is “an important finding for the country because it shows how the culture of Tiwanacu has been detached in other towns such as the Pacajes, which later they were influenced by the Incas. ”
“This finding reaffirms our identity and culture and shows that there was not only an influence of the Incas, but of other peoples,” he added.
In the tomb, archaeologists found more than 150 decorative bronze objects, many of them ornaments for women’s hair, necklaces, bracelets and two horseshoe-shaped headbands, which was an ornamental object worn by the nobles on the forehead. Large pins were also found that were used by women in their burials.
“These were personal favorites of the deceased. In contrast, the vessels were more of the community, “said Sagárnaga.
According to the expert, it is the first time in Bolivia that a cemetery excavated in a limestone rock is discovered.
Meanwhile, the minister of Cultures, Wilma Alanoca, declared that it is an “unprecedented discovery”.
The cemetery was found three months ago by a mining company at a site three meters underground dug in the soft rock, near the small town of Viacha, in the altiplano and 20 kilometers from La Paz.
Archaeologists made the first investigation public this week. Sagárnaga claimed that the site was looted before.
An interesting aspect of the discovery is that it is a common grave where remains of women and men of different social strata were found, explained the expert.
The remains were recovered and taken to an archaeological center for classification and study. Later they will return to Viacha and will be placed in a museum.