The cemetery of the Nazca culture was discovered in the 1920s. The graves date back to a period of about 700 years, from the year 200 to the 9th century AD, well before the rule of the Incas. Several of the 100 graves were largely destroyed by grave robbers. The scattered remains of bones and pottery shards were spent during the excavations in the open graves. Since 1997, the archaeological site is protected by law.
The burial ground is located near the Poroma River and can be reached via a seven-kilometer unpaved road from the Panamericana. It can be visited for a fee. Several open single and family graves can be visited. In the tombs, which are only protected by light roofs, there are mummies, human bones and remnants of archeologically insignificant remains of burial objects. All valuable finds were robbed or spent in museums.
The dead were wrapped sitting in cotton strands and treated with resin. Afterwards, they were buried in mud brick-lined pits. The extreme arid climate of the Peruvian coastal desert made it possible for the mummies. During the mummies on display, the tomb raiders tore away the cotton wrap around the upper body to gain access to clothing and jewelery, as well as cutting off the head. The heads could often no longer be clearly assigned to the bodies. Some mummies have replicated cotton heads. There are theories according to which the heads were separated at a sacrifice and kept elsewhere. In the case of mummification, the bodies would have been given replacement heads to complete.