WASHINGTONThe two girls and a boy, relics of an Inca sacrificial ritual, were found in a burial platform atop Argentinas Mount Llullaillacoat 22,000 feet (6,706 meters) the worlds 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 Ive 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 nationalgeographic.com resources:
Andes Expedition @ nationalgeographic.com
Bookworm Corner: Inca Ice Maiden @ nationalgeographic.com
Expeditions Council @ nationalgeographic.com
Ice Treasures of the Inca @ nationalgeographic.com
The Mummies of Peru @ nationalgeographic.com
Watch National Geographic EXPLORER in fall 1999 for more about these mummies.