The Qilakitsoq Mummies
Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Age six months
Sex male
Culture Inuit
Date(s) 1475, 1972
Site Greenland
Current Location
Location Nuussuaq peninsula, Greenland
Catalog #


The Qilakitsoq mummies were found in 1972 on the western Nuussuaq peninsula, north of the Arctic Circle. six Qilakitsoq mummies were found, five female mummies of various age, a four year old boy and a six month old baby boy. Two graves were found about a meter apart, the bodies were stacked upon one another, separated by animal hide. Alongside the mummies, they were buried with seventy-eight items of clothing. When first found, archaeologists thought the six month year old baby boy was a doll, he was presumed to have down syndrome and was buried alive with his deceased mother.


The burials were unique because children and women were generally not buried separately from men. Unlike Egyptian mummies whom go though the process of mummification, the Qilakitsoq mummies were naturally preserved by very low temperatures and dry winds, which helped the mummies remain in such pristine conditions.


Through mitochondria DNA testing researchers were able to tell which mummies were related and the quality of their health.


The cause of death is still unknown. Archaeologists theorize that all the mummies had died together in a boating accident, aside from the six month old baby, who was buried alive.

Additional InfoEdit

The Qilakitsoq mummies were found by pure accident, by two brothers in 1972. Three of the women and the six month old baby are permanently on display at the Greenland National Museum.

External LinksEdit


Sheldon, N. (2013, September 22). The Qilakitsoq Mummies: Who Were They, and How Did They Die? Retrieved from

Hasen, J. (n.d.). Qilakitsoq - The Home of the Greenland Mummies. Retrieved from

Holloway, A. (2014, February 10). The mummies of Qilakitsoq and the Inuit baby that captured hearts around the world. Retrieved from.

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