Chauchilla Cemetery in Nazca Peru

In the early 20th century archaeologists first came to the Nazca region in search of more information about a newly identified culture who the scientists considered the ruins and structures modest in nature when compared with the fine ceramics and textiles found in the Chauchilla cemetery. Much of the early archaeological work in Nazca was centered on the cemectery and grave furnishings.

In the 1920's one of the largest pre-Incan cemeteries was discovered at Chauchilla Cemetery which would become the main source of knowledge of the Nasca Culture over much of the century. As scientists began to open tombs they encountered well preserved bodies dressed in finely embroidered cottons. Many of the bodies still had their hair and skin intact.

Over the next 70 years grave robbers realized the value of the Chauchilla Cemetery and raided the tombs for the fine ceramics, textiles and bodies until 1997 when the Peruvian laws changed to protect the area. While there has never been any crystal skulls found in the cemetery as shown in the Indiana Jones movie, much of the burial site has been reconstructed and visitors can see sun bleached skeletons some still with dreadlocks sitting upright on the dirt floors of their tombs with creepy smiles as they wait to greet visitors.