Three Inca Mummies Found

View images from the discovery. WASHINGTON—The two girls and a boy, relics of an Inca sacrificial ritual, were found in a burial platform atop Argentina’s Mount Llullaillaco—at 22,000 feet (6,706 meters) the world’s highest archaeological site.

Buried under about 5 feet (1.5 meters) of rock and earth, the bodies may have remained frozen since they were placed there about 500 years ago. As a result, they appear as if just buried.

“They appear the best preserved of any mummy I’ve seen,” said Johan Reinhard, coleader of the American-Argentine-Peruvian team that discovered them. “The arms looked perfect, even down to visible hairs.” One of the mummies, a female, had been damaged on the left side by lightning, Reinhard said.

Read more in the full press release.

Dr. Johan Reinhard is a senior fellow at The Mountain Institute in Franklin, West Virginia.

See the video coverage of this major archaeological find. (You will need RealPlayer.)

Related resources:
Andes Expedition @
Bookworm Corner: Inca Ice Maiden @
Expeditions Council @
Ice Treasures of the Inca @
The Mummies of Peru @

Watch National Geographic EXPLORER in fall 1999 for more about these mummies.