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Peru: 15th-century Chan Chan mass grave has been uncovered.

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The mass grave had the bones of approximately 25 persons, the most of whom were women who were most likely "committed to textiles."

In the 15th century, a group of wealthy ladies in the historic city of Chan Chan spent their days weaving textiles while alive... and dead.

According to a statement from the Peruvian Ministry of Culture, archaeologists recently discovered a mass grave in the Trujillo province of modern-day Peru that held the remains of about 25 people, mostly women and a couple of children and teenagers, surrounded by textile tools such as needles, spindles, and chalk.

According to the statement, the women were likely "people dedicated to textiles" because they were buried with these items. The women were buried seated, with their legs bent, and the majority were under the age of 30.

"It is a very specialized population, not too young considering the typical human life span was 40 years," Jorge Meneses Bartra, the project's archaeologist, told Andina, a Peruvian news agency. The skeletons were wrapped in a cotton cloth, which was then coated with a fabric produced from plant tissue.

According to Smithsonian Magazine, the abundance of grave goods discovered in the grave hole, including hundreds of ceramic artefacts, implies that the persons buried were aristocratic.

According to the statement, archaeologists discovered the mass grave, which was 32 feet (10 metres) long and wide and was sealed with mud that contained jar fragments that may have acted as a tomb marker.

According to the BBC and Britannica, the ancient city of Chan Chan, which means "resplendent sun" in the Chim language, was the biggest metropolis in pre-Columbian America and the seat of the Chim Empire, which was known to undertake rites including human sacrifices. The empire reached its zenith in the 15th century, until being conquered by the Incas around 1470.

Archaeologists have yet to unearth any indication that the human remains discovered recently were the result of such sacrifices; in fact, the researchers do not yet know how the people died, Meneses stated in a statement.

However, archaeologists believe that two independent mass burials occurred in the same grave. According to the statement, researchers discovered one skeleton that "maintains its anatomical position" within the burial and another whose bones were jumbled and exposed to the elements.

This discovery implies that the ancient people buried some of these people immediately after they died and others later. According to the researchers, they most likely carried the remains of the second set of people from another burial site.

"This demonstrates that the Chimu used to shift and modify their deceased," Sinthya Cueva Garca, director of the Archaeological Research Program of the Chan Chan Archaeological Complex Special Project, said in a statement.