Nazca culture, Peru

Chauchilla Cemetery

Plundered and left asunder by grave robbers, this ancient necropolis has been painstakingly pieced back together


Since 1997, Peruvian law has protected the haunting Chauchilla Cemetery, but not before it was ravaged mercilessly by Peruvian grave robbers.

The burial grounds have not been utilized since the 9th century, but the human remains are astoundingly well-preserved. The Peruvian Desert's dry climate is of course a factor in the preservation, but burial practices also contributed to the condition of many of the corpses, some still hanging on to their hair and skin a thousand years after their demise.

Clothed in cotton and painted with resin, the deceased were placed in mud-bricked tombs. Wooden posts that were once assigned by archeologists to the category of religious use are now thought to be drying posts for the dead, which would explain the added step needed for such an impressive example of mummification.

Discovered in the 1920s, the remains and artifacts were spread across the area, picked over by nefarious pilferers. It has been restored to as close to its original state as possible, bones, bodies and artifacts either returned to tombs or showcased in displays.

  • Address
    Carretera a Chauchilla, Nazca culture, Peru
  • Cost
    Tourists can enjoy the archeological wonder for a mere 7 U.S. dollars
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Chauchilla Cemetery is located south east of the city of Nasca at 28km. Tour information can be found on several Peruvian travel websites