Archaeologists in Lima, Peru, made an astonishing discovery under thousands of pounds of trash – a 3,000-year-old mummy that was likely a sacrifice.

The specimen was uncovered this week by archaeologists and San Marcos University students, according to Reuters. They first spotted it thanks to its exposed hair and skull.

But before examining the ancient mummy, over 15,000 pounds of trash had to be removed from the site, BBC News reported.

From there, other items buried at the site – such as corn, coca leaves, and seeds – were also recovered, Reuters reported.

The mummy was likely a sacrifice

Archaeologist Miguel Aguilar told BBC News the mummy was likely from the Manchay culture, a group of people who lived around modern-day Lima from 1500 BCE to 1000 BCE.

A person excavates a skeleton.
(Anthony Marina/Reuters)

The Manchay people typically built U-shaped temples pointed towards the rising sun, BBC reported.

Other characteristics, such as the mummy's positioning and where it was located in the U-shaped temple, suggested it was from the Manchay culture, BBC reported.

Aguilar said that the person "had been left or offered [as a sacrifice] during the last phase of construction of this temple," BBC said.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

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