The mummies of Qilakitsoq – Greenland
Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Current Location
Catalog #


The Qilakitsoq mummies are the oldest preserved remains in Greenland and was discovered on 1972. An Inuit baby, a two year old boy and six women were buried in two separate graves protected by a rock that overhung a shallow cave.The mummies were dated around 1475 AD and were perfectly preserved due to the sub zero temperatures. The site was discovered by two brothers who were hiking in the area and became curious about a stack of rocks.


The bodies of these mummies were perfectly preserved due to the sub-zero temperatures and studies have been able to determine their way of life. however they have not been able to determine how they died. The only thing that is known for sure is that the little Inuit baby was buried alive. Inuit custom dictated that a tribe might suffocate or bury a child alive if they could not find a woman to care for it after the death of its mother.


The dry, freezing conditions resulted in natural mummification, as the overhanging rock protected the bodies, which archaeologists discovered in two graves, a meter apart.The first grave contained 3 women, a four-year-old boy and a six-month-old baby. Two of the women were young, one between 20-30, the other was 25-35 years of age. The analysis aged the final woman at between 40-50. The second grave contained three female bodies. Two were in their 50\s while the other woman was between 18-21 years of age.

Additional InfoEdit

External LinksEdit

Hansen, J P. The Greenland Mummies. (1991). Mcgill Queens University Press

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