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Funeral bundle: Wikis

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The well-preserved funeral bundles of the Paracas people of the Andes have allowed archaeologists to study in detail the funeral rituals of that culture.

The naked body of the deceased was placed, before rigor mortis set in, in the fetal position, with the strongly timid members, on a basket or bundle. Associated with the bodies are found, like gifts, several garments with traces of use, some vegetable food accompanied possibly of a mate, scraps of cloth or dressed – miniature with religious embroidered motives, small badges of gold, etc. A long strip of coarse cotton cloth wraps the body and the gifts constitute the nucleus. In the adults' burials, one usually finds on this nucleus an additional layer, formed by some pieces of ceremonial garment, decorated with embroideries and protected by several returns of cotton cloth. These were later cooked and moored with cord to facilitate the transport of the bundle. Opposite to the bundle, the mourners deposited some ceramic pieces, generally between one and seven. A pole or a cane, with a bundle of pens, indicated the precise place of the burial. Individuals of major status received more textile gifts and, in this case, the number of layers increased substantially: up to three successive layers could be added on to the nucleus. These layers, and in particular the last one, usually contained decorative embroidered cloaks.

The burials have a collective character, and it is thought that bonds of kinship joined the buried individuals together in the "caverns" dug in the rock or in the sand. In several cases, it is possible to show that remains were moved to some another place of burial, some years after death. The areas of burial are located next to established living places. Often, an area that was inhabited earlier by the living was reused for the dead, and the ruins of the houses and public buildings were reused for this purpose.


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