Forrest Gump’s mother said life is like a box of chocolates in that you never know what you’re going to get. Archaeology is a lot like that, and on that note, archaeologists made a startling discovery while exploring a tomb recently. Not only did they find a preserved mummy, but it was covering its face.
Archaeologists found the mummy in an underground tomb in Peru. What’s interesting about it though is the fact it was fully bound in ropes with its hands covering its face. According to The New York Post, archaeologists from the National University of San Marcos found it in Cajamarquilla, an area roughly 15.5 miles inland from Lima, Peru. Estimated to be between 800 to 1,200 years old, they luckily discovered it in good condition.
Though the somewhat frightening pose may seem alarming, researchers attribute it to a southern Peruvian funeral custom. In addition to the mummy, the tomb contained ceramics, vegetable remains, stone tools, and marine mollusks. Peter Van Dalen Luna, an archaeologist who led the expedition, shared his thoughts about the custom.
“After the body is placed in the tomb, there are constant events and activities,” Van Dalen Luna said. “That is to say, their descendants keep coming back over many years and placing food and offerings there, including mollusks.”
Researchers believe the mummy is male and predated the Inca civilization. This makes the find even more valuable, as it could help reveal more about pre-Hispanic times. Additionally, they suspect the man was about 25 years old an important person in society at the time.
Funnily enough, finding the mummy was a surprise, as they weren’t even searching for one, another member of the archaeology team stated.
‘American Pickers’ Star Mike Wolfe Recounted Tale of Finding a Mummy on a Pick
During a 2017 interview with Antiques And The Arts Weekly, Wolfe reflected on a truly bizarre trip of his. Issuing a disclaimer beforehand, he states the trip was for “late nineteenth/early twentieth-century freak-show memorabilia.” The weirdest item there happened to be the mummified remains of a woman who was murdered.
“Did you ever hear about Marie O’Day?” Wolfe said. “Back in the 1920s, she was murdered by her boyfriend, who threw her body into the Great Salt Lake. When they found her 10 years later, she’d been mummified by the saltwater.”
Though Wolfe had his chance to buy the mummy, he did not and instead she went “on tour.” Elaborating, Wolfe said people would stand in line for hours, paying 50 cents to go in a tent to see her.
I can’t say I blame Wolfe for passing, but it would have been an interesting conversation starter, to say the least.