PERU (Reuters) - Discovered here - buried under earth and rock - the mummified remains of a 4,500-year-old woman.
The mummy was discovered in what is believed to have been an ancient fishing village in northern Peru.
Thought to be a noble woman - she was buried with carved objects featuring details of both coastal and jungle animals.
Archaeologists think she can provide new information about the ancient Caral civilisation - which is believed to be the oldest in the Americas.
Archaeologist and director of the Caral Archaeological Zone Ruth Shady said, "In the settlements of the Caral civilisation there are sometimes burials. The sacrifice of human beings are not regular, they're very rare. In this case it is a woman of 40 to 50 years who was buried with evidence and objects that allow us to identify her as a woman of important social status. Her remains were with offerings of objects brought from different places."
The Caral civilisation dates back to 2,600 BC - predating the Incas by about 4,000 years.