Two Mummies from one Grave. Front and back view. Ancon Peru.

Mummies, Grave, tomb, views, funeral, necropolis, Ancon, Wilhelm Reiss
Front and back view of a Mummy with a false head and funeral accompaniments.

III. The Mummies in their diverse equipment.
a. False-headed Mummies.


(⅐ of the natural size.)


With nearly all the dead, rich or poor, a number of objects were deposited. Many valuable trifles, such as work-baskets, tools, ornaments &c, all found room in the layers of leaves and cotton enveloping the body. Other objects, especially earthenware, peculiar funeral tablets (plates 32 and 33), wallets and dishes with food, were partly wrapped in clothes, partly placed by the side of the mummy, and covered with sand when the grave was filled in.

Various arrangements of these accompaniments are indicated in the sections of the tombs (plate 10). The present plate is intended to convey an idea of the appearance presented by a rich mummy in the midst of its surroundings on the removal of the sand filling up the grave.

Although smaller than those hitherto represented, this mummy still belongs to the larger and more sumptuous specimens. The large and almost square body embracing the inner bundle of the mummy is produced by stuffing a coarse cotton sack with seaweed and leaves. It is dressed in a many-coloured cotton garment, such as the Indians wore.

There is a slit through which the head is passed, and it is exceptionally provided with rather long sleeves. The coloured design is produced by a sort of patch-work, in such a way that pieces from the origin material are cut out in the form of the design and replaced by diversely coloured insertions.

Note:  Flower girl of Paris with huge wooden shoes, 1821.

The head, which is very high, is enveloped in a cloth, through which the form of nose and eyes may to some extent be perceived. The great height of the head is produced by a straw-plaited headdress decked with parrot-feathers.

Noteworthy is the neck-ornament, consisting of a band fastened under the chin, the ends, deeply fringed in two colours, hanging down over the breast. This species of fillet, recurs with a remarkable uniformity of style, as a frequent motive in the treatment of the dead, contributing considerably to the enhancement of the general effect.

On the right of the mummy stands a series of funeral tablets, on whose special significance no definite explanation can be offered. On the left is a large calabash with a four-cornered cover, which may have served to contain a variety of objects, but which here was filled only with netted wallets and gourd seeds. In order to render it more handy, the calabash was covered with an elegantly worked net. Behind is a large heap of cotton pouches, whose strings are all tied together in one knot. The equipment is completed by an oval-shaped and ornamental earthenware vase (plate 100, fig. 1) and another vase blackened by the kitchen fire.


Height – 1,00
Breadth across the shoulders – 0,80
Breadth at the fastening – 0,70
Height, of the head – 0,35
Breadth of the head – 0,27

Source: The necropolis of Ancon in Peru: a contribution to our knowledge of the culture and industries of the empire of the Incas being the results of excavations made on the spot by Wilhelm Reiss (1838-1908); Alphons Stübel (1835-1904), joint author; Wilhelm Greve, lithographer; Augustus Henry Keane (1833-1912), translator; Ludwig Wittmack (1839-1929); Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902); Alfred Nehring (1845-1904). Berlin: A. Asher & Co.; New York : Sole agent for America, Dodd, Mead & Company, 755 Broadway, 1880.

Note:  Sir Walter Raleigh and the New World. Founding of Roanoke.

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