The mummy was accompanied by ceremonial items including jewelry and weapons, and the remains of a teenage girl who had been sacrificed, archaeologists reported.
The burial was at a site called El Brujo on Peru's north coast near Trujillo.
They said the woman was part of the Moche culture which thrived in the area between A.D. 1 and A.D. 700. The mummy was dated about A.D. 450.
The presence of gold jewelry and other fine items indicates the mummy was that of an important person, but anthropologist John Verano of Tulane University, said the researchers are puzzled by the presence of war clubs, which are not usually found with females, the AP reports.
The woman had complex tattoos, distinct from others of the Moche, covering both arms and other areas. Bone scarring indicated the woman had given birth at least once. The cause of her death was not apparent, the AP reports.
Verano said she would have been considered an adult in her prime. Some Moche people reached their 60s and 70s.
The grave also contained headdresses, jewelry made of gold and semiprecious stones, war clubs, spear throwers, gold sewing needles, weaving tools and raw cotton.
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