Juanita, the Ice Maiden Mummy

Back in 1995 the frozen, well preserved body of a young girl was found at Mount Ampato in Peru. She was found by the famous Dr Johan Reinhard, who over the coming years would find several more frozen mummies in the Andes. But this one was the first.

Juanita is the cruel evidence of the macabre religious practices of the Inca culture, called Capacocha. Young children were sacrificed to please the mountain gods. They were chosen very carefully by the priests, and treated as gods for one or two years until they were “ready” to be accepted by the gods. Juanita herself was placed at 6 300 meters height, and scientific analysis of her hair shows she was heavily intoxicated by drugs and alcohol for the last 6-8 weeks of her 15 year long life. But the cause of death was a massive blow to her head.
A big thanks to Dr Dagmara Socha, the project leader of this fantastic, and a bit scary, project.

The reconstruction is exhibited at the Museo Santuarios Andinos in Arequipa, Peru.