Police arrested a Bolivian woman who tried to send a Peruvian mummy in a cardboard box to France using regular postal service.
The archaeological piece, probably from the Inca culture, was discovered during a routine inspection at the time it was being shipped through the Post Office of Bolivia in La Paz bound for the French town of Compiegne addressed to a person identified as Annette Huc, said Tuesday police Col. Adolfo Cárdenas, according to El Comercio de Lima (in Spanish).
Cardenas said the detainee stated that she received the parcel containing the mummy from a Peruvian national in the Bolivian town of Desaguadero, near the border with Peru, about 70 kilometres west of La Paz. The instructions she received were to send the shipment to France by Parcel Post. She also stated being unaware of the content of the package, reports lostiempos.com of Cochabamba, Bolivia (in Spanish).
The Police said that a preliminary inspection of the mummy indicated that it probably corresponds to a child and seems to be in good state of conservation.
Ronald Terán, Head of Bolivia’s Cultural Heritage Study Society, said the case is being reviewed and investigated and that a report will be issued soon. The antiquity of the mummy has not yet been determined, but it may date about 750 years and pertain to the Inca culture. The ancient Incas used to mummify the elite members of society.
On a related note, a tomb with four mummies from the Wari culture, dating about 850 years, was recently discovered in the Miraflores neighbourhood, in downtown Lima, at the top of the pyramid called Huaca Pucllana, reported archeologist Isabel Flores Espinosa, according to Informe21.
Flores Espinosa, director of the archaeological excavations project of Huaca Pucllana, said it is presumed that the main character in the grave is a woman, which was accompanied by a child and two babies.
A distinct aspect of this finding is that the tomb was found intact, unlike other 62 burials in the same Huaca site that have been found during five years of archaeological work, as all previous ones had been tampered with and damaged by treasure hunters from modern or colonial times.