The Oldest Mummy in North America
Biographical Information
Name(s) The Oldest North American Mummy
Age 45
Sex Male
Status Unknown
Height Unknown
Culture Unknown
Date(s) Excavated in 1940

Dated back to ca. 7420 B.C. Body believed to be ca. 2,000 years old Hair and bone and two mats that covered the body yielded dates more than 7,000 years older

Site Caves
Current Location
Location Churchill County, Nevada
Catalog #


In 1940, the oldest North American mummy was discovered amongst others. These mummies were found in the caves of Nevada's Churchill County. The oldest mummy to ever be found in North America was believed to be a 45 year old male dated back to ca. 7420 B.C. The mummy is now kept in the Nevada State Museum in Carson City.


When found, the oldest mummy in North America was well preserved. He was so well preserved that researchers were able to conclude that the mummy was ca. 2,000 years old. 


Two researchers of the Nevada State Museum who study this mummy are Donald Tuohy and Amy Dansie. They used radiocarbon tests that on the hair, bones, and mats that covered the body that yielded dates more than 7,000 years older.


According to Gentry Steele of Texas A&M University, the mummified man was believed to have died from certain complications to do with a skull fracture or abscessed teeth.

Additional InfoEdit

The human mummy was found during salvage excavations in advance of a guano-mining project. The body was found lying on a fur blanket, dressed in a twisted skin robe, with leather moccasins covering his feet, and a twined mat sewn around his head and shoulders. A similar mat was wrapped around the lower part of his body and bound under his feet. Skin still remained on his back and shoulders along with a small tuft of straight black hair, which changed to a reddish-brown colour when it was exposed to air and light.

The style of the weaving in the clothing marks the earliest stage in North American weaving technology and was called, "diamond-plaited matting."

External LinksEdit


Asher, L. J. (September/October 1996). Oldest North American Mummy. Newsbriefs, 49(5), 1-1.

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