Rare Mummy Found With Strange Artifacts, Tattoo in Peru

Disemboweled and decorated with scarlet paint, metal eye plates, and a tattoo, an exquisitely preserved, thousand-year-old mummy has been discovered in Peru. (See photos.)

As anthropologists gingerly removed the layers of ancient textiles swaddling the thirtysomething elite male last month at a Lima lab, offerings both strange and familiar came to light—slingshots, corn, a figurine in identical dress.

Taken together, the artifacts, the mummy, and the excavation site suggest that the mysterious, little-studied Chancay civilization held a surprisingly tight grip on the fertile north-central Pacific coast of Peru during the culture's heyday, between A.D. 1000 and 1500, when it finally fell to the unstoppable Inca Empire, experts say.

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