The Ignacia Aguilar mummy, is a Mexican mummy apart of the 119 mummies at El Museo de las Mumias ("The Museum of the Mummies"). The mummy is one of the main attractions at its museum as it has a chilling story. She is thought to be one of the unfortunate to be buried alive.
Aguilar lived during the time of the mass cholera outbreak in Guanajuato in 1833. Due to this epidemic, corpses were quickly buried to prevent spread of the disease. She had a rare health condition which sometimes caused her heart to seem like it stopped beating. At one instance when she was unconscious because of her cholera infection, it seemed as though her heart had stopped beating for over a day. Her family decided to bury her, believing she was dead. Their mistake was not realized until over twenty years later when she was disinterred and was found to have been buried alive. It was clear that she was buried alive because she was turned over, her arms were up over her head, and she had scratches on her head.
The body was naturally preserved and has not been embalmed or gone through any preservation processes. When Aguilar was disinterred, she was found to have been preserved by the heat of the surrounding soil, which dried out the body. This preserved her hair, flesh and clothing. When she awoke in the coffin, she tried to escape and in the process she bit her arm which drew blood. This blood ended up getting preserved as well.
Since Aguilar was buried alive, officials attribute the lack of oxygen in the coffin to the cause of death.
The mummy was discovered due to a grave tax that enacted in Guanajuato in the 1860s. If the family of the deceased could not pay this tax, then the bodies would be dug up to create room for other corpses. This led to Aguilar's discovery, as well as the discovery of many of the other mummies at El Museo de las Mumias.
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