Juanita, The Ice Maiden, Inca Mummy

by Captain Bill

Juanita, The Ice Maiden, Inca Mummy

The Santuarios Andinos Museum in Arequipa Peru displays one of the great anthropological finds in South America, an Inca Mummy nicknamed Juanita, the Ice Maiden. Juanita the Ice Maiden was found frozen in near perfect condition near the top of the Ampato Volcano by the anthropologists Rienhard, and Zaparte. The Inca Mummy has been kept frozen at 20 °F and 80 % humidity.

Juanita was a 14 year old female Inca, with no dental cavities, no sickness, perfect hair, and beautiful features. She was sacrificed to the mountain gods between 1440 and 1450.

She was killed by the force of a 5 pointed stone to crush the back of her skull. Her stomach was full of coca leaves. She carried her umbilical cord with her, possibly indicating she was born a candidate for sacrifice if she was perfect enough.

DNA tests were inconclusive and more tests are planned. She apparently shares genetic traits from Asia, which probably points to the early migration across the land bridge from eastern Asia to Alaska, and also shows a genetic connection to a tribal area in Panama, the narrow funnel that would have to have been passed by her ancestors to end their migration in the Andes.

Juanita’s cloths, footwear, and ornaments are also on display at the museum.

We paid S/ 15 apiece to enter the Santuarios Andinos Museum in December 2008, at Calle la Merced N-110 Arequipa. No cameras are allowed inside. I recommend this exhibit to anyone interested in the Inca civilization.

Juanita, The Ice Maiden, Inca Mummy

Bill Grimes, President, Dawn on the Amazon

If You Are Traveling to Arequipa Peru, Check This

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kelly April 1, 2009 at 9:34 am

I don’t understand why you would kill a 13 year old child. Whether for sacrifice or not. Im sure that she would have much rather have grown up, then to have a stone shoved to the back of her head. Absolutly horrible. Culture or no culture. Its horrific.

2 Johny January 3, 2010 at 3:44 pm

It must have been horible to have been killed like that.

3 Jackie May 7, 2013 at 11:33 am

The Incas believed that by scaling the snow-topped heights of the mountains they could get closer to the heavens and communicate better with the gods.They sacrificed children because they were considered to be the most pure. They were not sacrificed to feed or appease the gods but, rather, ‘to enter the realm of the gods and live in paradise with them. if you could dilver your children straight into heaven with god i bet you would do if too and the children were druged so they didnt feel a thing!!

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