In 1999, a 500-year-old mummy was discovered. Scientists call her “The Maiden” and she’s giving them clues to help solve some big mysteries about infectious diseases.The Maiden is a mother of a young 15- year-old girl that sleeps frozen in the High Country Archaeological Museum in Salta Argentina.
The Maiden along with two other children were found at the Llullaillaco volcano. They were literally plucked from the freezing slopes of the volcano.
It is believed that these children were a part of child sacrifice ritual called the capacocha.
They were sacrificed to God at the volcano where they were also buried.
These findings let the archeologists to discover more about the Incan culture. Child sacrificial was quite common among them.
The doctors checked the mummified children in detail and made some ground breaking discoveries.
It is believed that the Maiden was suffering from a bacterial infection when she died.
This is the first time that such an ancient body was discovered with past diseases. And this can lead to new techniques to understand the new diseases.
The Maiden suffered from an illness similar to tuberculosis at the time she died. This discovery can help researchers understand the ancient diseases and prevent them from reappearing today.
The body was so well preserved, that she still had frozen lice in hair. She still sits wrapped in her shawl as if she’s alive.
The Maiden along with other children were discovered back in 1999 but the detail research was made recently which gave an insight to the health conditions of the ancient figures.
The researchers compared the proteins of two different Andean Inca mummies and found a new aspect of the human genome.
The mummies don’t look as if they are really 500 years old. Their condition makes it appear that they died just a few weeks ago.
The Maiden was called the best preserved Mummy by the National Geographical Explorer, Johan Reinhard.
Her jewelry, the pieces of gold and silver were still with the body. The whole discovery is almost chilling and makes you wonder about the long dead cultures and rituals.