Roughly 2,000 years before ancient Egyptians, the Chinchorro civilization developed a mummification process in northern Chile and southern Peru.
Since the region is one of the driest places on earth, the mummies have largely been preserved. They are the oldest known examples of artificially mummified bodies in the world, but they are now decaying.
Chile wants UNESCO to recognize the historical site, in the Atacama Desert, as a World Heritage Site. The designation would help with the conservation efforts.
Americas Now Correspondent Joel Richards went to northern Chile to see the millennia-old mummies.