PASQUALE SORRENTINO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PASQUALE SORRENTINO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Inca mummy research. Professor Guillermo Cock holding a mummified head excavated from an Inca cemetery. Mummification is a process where tissues are preserved after death by extreme dessication in a dry climate. Parchment-like skin is seen covering the skull. The feathers on the head indicate a high status in Inca society. This mummy is from Puruchuco-Huaquerones, a large Inca cemetery on the outskirts of Lima, Peru. The site has been excavated several times since 1999, and many well-preserved mummies have been found. The Inca, a pre-Hispanic people from Peru, ruled an extensive empire in the Andean regions of northern South America in the 15th and 16th centuries.
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