Peruvian delivery man carried ancient mummy around in his bag

Police in Peru made a surprise discovery when they searched a delivery man who came to their attention for acting drunk at an archaeological site in Puno.

Inside his cooler bag was an ancient mummy.

The man said that he had been sharing his room with the bandaged mummy and considered it "a kind of spiritual girlfriend".

He had put the remains in the bag to show them off to his friends, he said.

He explained that he kept "Juanita", as he had nicknamed the mummy, in a box in his room, next to the TV. He added that it was owned by his father, without specifying how it had come into his father's possession.

Experts said the body was between 600 and 800 years old and that it was that of an adult male rather than a woman, as the man who was discovered with it had assumed.

The mummified male is estimated to have been more than 45 years old at the time of his death and 1.51m tall (4ft 11in).

The mummy was wrapped in bandages in the foetal position which is typical of many of the pre-Hispanic burials in the area.

Mummification was practiced by a variety of cultures in what is now Peru before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. Some mummies were buried while others were brought out and paraded during key festivals.

Police have seized the mummy carried in the cooler bag and handed it to Peru's ministry of culture, which looks after the country's heritage.

The man who was transporting it and and his two friends, who are between 23 and 26 years old, were detained and are being investigated for possible crimes against Peru's cultural heritage.