Ice Maiden Mummy from Peru
Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Mummy Juanita
Age between 12-14 years old
Sex Female
Status Deceased
Height N/A
Culture Incan Culture
Date(s) died sometime between 1440 and 1450
Site Mount Ampato in southern Peru.
Current Location
Location Peru, South America
Catalog #


In 1995, the frozen body of a 12- to 14-year-old Inca girl who had died sometime between 1440 and 1450 was discovered on Mount Ampato in southern Peru. Known as "Mummy Juanita" ("Momia Juanita" in Spanish) or "The Ice Maiden," some archaeologists believe that she was a human sacrifice to the Inca mountain god Apus.


It is believed by some archaeologists that the Ice Maiden was, in fact, a human sacrifice to the mountain god (Apus). The Ice Maiden was then buried by the Inca priests atop Mount Ampato (20,700 feet, or 6,309 m) in Peru, and left undisturbed until discovered by Johann Reinhard in 1995.


The mummy caused a sensation in the scientific world due to the well-preserved state in which it was found. Between May and June of 1996, the mummy was exhibited in the headquarters of National Geographic Society in Washington D.C., in a specially acclimatized conservation/display unit. This young girl's body was taken to the United States and went through to a virtual autopsy in the laboratories of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. The mummy had tomographies taken, as well as X-ray examinations.  


Scientists reached the following conclusions about Juanita: she had died at the age of 14, between approximately 1440 and 1450; she had had a stature of 1.40 meters; she had weighed 80 pounds at the time of death; she was slender in build and body shape; she had not suffered from any illness; she had had a perfect denture and strong bones; she had had a well-balanced diet; she had fasted one day before the sacrifice; she had a 5cm fissure in the skull ; and she had died from blunt force trauma to the head

Additional InfoEdit

These discoveries seem to support the theory that during the Inca empire, human sacrifice rituals were still practiced, contrary to the common theories of some archaeologists and historians who deny it. Indeed the mummy was, in Reinhard's opinion, "a young sacrifice victim killed by Inca priests to appease the gods, especially the gods of the mountain." However, what indeed is indicated is that during this epoch, neither anthropophagy nor necrophagy was practiced; on the contrary, both were punished.

External LinksEdit


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