| Spirit Cave Man |
|Name(s)||Spirit Cave MAn|
|Date(s)||9,400 years old|
|Location||Nevada State Museum|
The Spirit Cave man was discovered within a cave located in Nevada in 1940 by archaeologists S.M. and Georgia Wheeler. Originally these remains were thought to be 2,000 years old, however, they are newly determined to be more than 9,400 years old. The Spirit Cave man now gains the title of being oldest known mummy in North America. Anthropologists are also excited by the sophisticated level of textile weaving that they never would have thought possible at the time.
He was found in a cave lying on his side, wrapped in a skin robe and sewn into two mats woven of a marsh plant called tule. Anthropologists have come to the conclusion that the very dry environment of the cave and the protection of the mats allowed the body to be so well preserved. The Spirit Cave man was believed to be in his 40's and is 5 feet 2 inches tall. He had a fractured skull and suffered from horrible abscesses of his tooth roots. This mummy differs slightly from modern American Indians genetically in that he has a long cranium and long small face. These characteristics seem to link him more closely to Southeast Asian peoples.
The Spirit Cave man is only half a mummy, with mainly the skin on his head and shoulder actually being mummified.
The abscesses of his tooth roots indicate that he suffered from gum disease.