The Mysterious Mummy Lake Laguna de las Momias in Peru
Laguna de los Cóndores is its name, “Kondorsee” in German. But unofficially it is also called Laguna de las Momias “Lake of the Mummy”. In 1997, archaeologists found more than two hundred well-preserved Inca mummies in a cemetery on the steep shore of a mountain lake, just a kilometer in size and hidden at an altitude of 2,900 meters in the Andes Mountains of northern Peru. What mysteries do they reveal and why the dead were equipped with funeral sums.
Lake Condor in northern Peru is beautiful and majestic, located at an altitude of almost 3,000 meters in the Andes Mountains. For more than 500 years, hundreds of Inca mummies rested in a lakeside cemetery. Mummies reveal mysteries about the way of life of a long-lost culture that still baffle researchers.
Mysterious “Cloud People”
The perfectly prepared corpses were hidden for over 500 years until they were accidentally discovered by a family of shepherds. The mummies were buried on the ancient Inca trail, bound in a fetal position, wrapped in fabric coverings decorated with faces. It was also preserved by a thick layer of vegetation that grew around it over the centuries – a natural protective layer against moisture and rot.
Researchers have identified them as heirs to the Chachapoya, a prehistoric Andean people. The name, which means “people of the clouds” in the Quechua language, was given to the people by the Incas, who supposedly conquered them in the 15th century. They have remained as mysterious as a mountain mist: described by Spanish chroniclers of the 16th century as “the most beautiful of the Peruvian Indians”, the Chachapoya are a highly developed and mysterious culture.
Miracle of Lake Condor
The Kondorsee Discovery is incredible. The reason: the bodies are very well preserved and allow new insights into the Chachapoya culture. Today they are in the nearby Leymebamba Museum. Not only are 219 mummies and their funerary items preserved here and partially on display, but they have also been examined by researchers using X-ray machines. Meanwhile, museum researchers hypothesize that the “people of the clouds” appropriated the art of mummification from the Incas.
Mummy specialist Dr. it says. Sonya Gillen reporting for the BBC. “They are the first to show us how the Incas actually mummified their dead. They dried the skin to preserve it, turned it into leather and extracted the internal organs.”
The mummies must have been bodies of important figures, as they lack the typical traces of strenuous physical labor common at the time. According to the expert, Dr. Guillen continued to keep these people in the community even after his death – as mummies: “They went to meetings, still had possessions and made decisions”.
Thousands of Mummies?
Discoveries at the burial site also point to more treasure, according to the BBC. Experts believe that thousands of Chachapoya mummies are still hidden in the area. 17 tombs are already known, but were not excavated archaeologically due to high costs.
Lago Condor – or Laguna de los Condores – lies in a vast area believed to be the home of Chachapoya, just 80 kilometers north of the famous ruins of Quilap, also known as “Machu Picchu of the North”. It may have been the political and religious center of the “cloud people”, but there are also several theories about it. Explorers consider the entire region to contain perhaps the highest density of unexplored and unexplored sites of historical interest in all of South America.