Scientists have unearthed an Inca-era tomb under a home in the heart of Peru’s capital, Lima, a burial believed to hold remains wrapped in cloth alongside ceramics and fine ornaments.
The lead archeologist, Julio Abanto, told Reuters the 500-year-old tomb contained “multiple funerary bundles” tightly wrapped in cloth.
He said those entombed were probably from the elite of Ruricancho society, a culture that once populated present-day Lima before the powerful Inca came to rule a sprawling empire across the length of western South America in the 1400s.
Famed for their gold and sophisticated constructions, including the mountaintop royal retreat of Machu Picchu, the Inca were defeated by Spanish invaders in 1532.
Hipolito Tica, the owner of the house in Lima, said he was overcome with emotion at the surprise find. “It’s amazing. I really have no other words to describe it, ”he said, expressing a hope that future generations in the working-class San Juan de Lurigancho neighborhood would better appreciate the rich history all around them.
Excavations began in May after Tica’s building plans for his property triggered a required archeological survey. The district of Lima is known for hundreds of past archaeological finds from cultures that developed before and after the Inca.