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5 July 2008
4,500-year-old mummies discovered in Chile

Eight perfectly preserved mummies, believed to be some 4,500 year old, were found by workers engaged in a restoration project in Chile's far north. "These mummies date back to between 2,000 BCE and 5,000 BCE," archaeologist Calogero Santoro said.
     The mummies are remains of individuals belonging to the Chinchorro culture, which was one of the first to practice mummification and the perfect condition in which the mummies were found is indicative of their advanced techniques. Three of the eight skeletons have been kept on the site in the Morro de Arica site for visitors to see while the other five were taken to Tarapaca University in northern Chile, where other mummies found in previous years are preserved.
     Morro de Arica is known for its mummies. Several hundred of them, some as old as 7,000 years, were discovered in 1983 in the area. In 2005, University of Tarapaca archaeologists found 50 Chinchorro mummies, dating back to 4,000 BCE, during the demolition of a house. The unusually large number of mummies found in the sector indicate that one of the oldest Chinchorro cemeteries may have been located there. The Chinchorros are presumed to have died out or migrated in the first century CE.

Source: Sify News (28 June 2008)

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