LIMA, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Archaeologists in Peru
have found 40 mummies dating from the 1,200-year-old Chachapoyas culture in the
Amazon fortress of Kuelap, project leader Alfredo Narvaez told local media on
He said the mummies were discovered alongside Inca
pottery, and that they showed signs of being affected by a fire in the
archaeological complex, some 1,409 km northeast to the nation's capital.
He said the bodies had been buried under a platform
of 24 meters in diameter in the El Tintero structure during a dig of the Kuelap
Archaeological Complex Restoration and Conservation project.
El Tintero contained six circular buildings, which
appeared to be homes to residents of that time. The mummies, both men and women
of all ages, were found both inside and outside the buildings, Narvaez said,
noting it seems there was no time to bury them.
The mummies may have been victims of an epidemic or a
violent invasion which ended in a massacre and the burning of the stone
fortress, Narvaez said.
The Chachapoyas, one of the higher cultures of
ancient Peru, had settlements from the Mara and Urubamba River to Abiseo Basin
with a capital in the Utcubamba Basin, in the current Amazonas region.
The Chachapoyas stone fortress, which is some 3,000
meters above sea level, was built in the year 800 A.D. It occupies six hectares
and has three defense platforms.