The Inca people, who lived in what is today Peru in South America, began their domination in the area in the early 1300s. The last reigning Inca was captured and killed by the Spanish in 1572. As they left no written records, information about them comes mainly from the burials that have been unearthed. The extreme dryness in the high Andes Mountains, where they buried their dead, served to dessicate the bodies, the mummies that are uncovered. Traditionally, they buried their dead in a sitting position, with the knees drawn up and the head and hands resting on them. They then swaddled the body, first in fine cotton cloth and then with woven woollen blankets of alpaca or vicuna. They then bound all with strong cord, making a mummy bundle. Often a fake head of some sort was placed on the top front and objects that were dear to the person when alive were placed with the body. This photograph of a Peruvian Inca mummy with its blanket wrapping and cords dates to 1904.
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