The well-preserved frozen human body of the sacrificed young Inca girl is a national Patrimony the Peru. Learn more about the famous Mummy Juanita.

Popularly recognized as Mummy Juanita, the detect of a young Inca girl sacrificed much more than 500 year ago (between 1440 and also 1480) do headlines because of the body’s well-preserved, frozen condition. Assessing her inner organs, hair, skin, and blood provided scientists a glimpse right into the social and societal practices of the Incas of the moment (during the regime of Inca Pachacuti).

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Because that the significance, in 1995 Time magazine named Mummy Juanita one of the top 10 many important discoveries in the world.


Who was Mummy Juanita?

It’s believed that the young girl was in between the ages of 11 and also 15, matching to the age of the kids who to be sacrificed as tribute payment under Inca rulers. These sacrifices, known as Capacocha (or Qhapaq Hucha), to be performed in ~ celebratory events (such as fight victories, death or birth of Inca royalty, etc.) or ceremonies to avoid droughts, earthquakes, or other herbal events.

The mummy was uncovered wearing textiles the same, similar thing those that Cusco’s elite. This along, through the geographical location of the sacrifice, suggests to archaeologists that the young girl was component of Cusco’s nobility. Furthermore, by evaluating her hair, researchers were may be to recognize that she ate maize and also animal meat before the sacrifice, both of i m sorry were part of the diet of the elite.

Analysis of her hair additionally indicates the she to be given, together were numerous sacrificed children, alcohol (chicha) and also coca prior to the sacrifice.

The discovery of Mummy Juanita

In 1995, American anthropologist Johan Reinhard climbed the volcano Mount Ampato in Arequipa situated at about 20,630 feet over sea level. He, along with his travel partner Miguel Zárate, came across a bundle inside a crater, most most likely fallen native an Inca burial site at the summit.


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Photo: Andina

The two men took the frozen bundle to the Catholic university of Santa Maria in Arequipa whereby it sweet 90 pounds (40.82 kg). The body of the sacrificed girl was provided the name Juanita, and also is also known together the Lady that Ampato and the Inca ice Maiden. She was uncovered with various artifacts around her, consisting of a llama figurine and also pottery.


Other frozen mummies were uncovered in subsequent explorations to mountain Ampato, including a boy and also a girl found in October 1995 and a mrs mummy in 1997.

Visit her in Arequipa

The Mummy Juanita is on display screen at the university’s Museum the Andean Sanctuaries (Museo Santuarios Andinos) in La Merced, Arequipa. In 1996, she travel to the nationwide Geographic society headquarters in Washington D.C and also traveled on tour to Japan in 1999.

In December 2020, the Mummy Juanita, and 80 other pre-Columbian artefacts found in mountain Ampato that space housed in the Andean Sanctuaries, were well-known as cultural Heritage of the Nation.

Cover photo: Andina



We carry out safe and exceptional experiences roughly Peru, partnering with knowledgable and passionate neighborhood tour guides! due to the fact that 2003, we have led the means as an authoritative and reliable English-language resource and travel company for those interested in traveling to Peru.

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archaeologyarchaeology in peruCapacochachild sacrificeinca cultureinca historyInca ice MaidenInca sacrificesLady of AmpatoMount AmpatoMummy Juanita
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Traveling & living in Peru We administer safe and also exceptional experiences around Peru, partnering v knowledgable and also passionate neighborhood tour guides! because 2003, we have led the means as an authoritative and reliable English-language resource and travel firm for those interested in traveling to Peru.