“There are four human burial sites for adult individuals, three women and one man, who lived between the years 1000 to 1450,” said archaeologist Isabel Flores, director of the program in Huaca Pucllana, a ceremonial complex in Miraflores district.
The find confirms the historical presence of the Ichma culture in Lima. The Ichma culture, which was indigenous to the region, flourished on the central coast of Peru in the Lurin Valley around 1000 and laterspread to the Rimac Valley.
The culture disappeared around 1450 when the Inca civilization began to spread.
“These are the first four tombs of the Ichma culture,” Ms Flores said.
The tombs featured seated remains, looking toward the sea, wrapped up in textile and hand-woven natural materials alongside offerings such as ceramics and weaving tools. Ms Flores has been researching the site for more than three decades and also runs the Huaca Pucllana Museum.
She said they “may still find more” tombs at the Huaca Pucllana complex despite long-term looting.
“This is the first district in the country that has more than 1,500 years of known history to date,” she said. In Lima alone, there are some 350 “huacas” — the indigenous Quechua-language word for these ceremonial complexes, most of which predate Spanish colonization.
The Ichma people inhabited Pachacamac (40 km southeast of Lima, Peru, in the Valley of the Lurin River) and continued the growth and influence of the city.
The Ichma people constructed at least 16 pyramids in Pachacamac, and built or remodeled more structures in the Lima area.