Scientists are hoping to discover more about Peru’s “Juanita” mummy

Friday May 23, 2014
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Juanita is the name given to a very well-conserved frozen body of an Inca girl of the age of approximately 13 years old who was killed around 1450-1480 as an offer to the gods.  She was found together with many other items such as statues and food on Mount Ampato in Southern Peru in 1995 by the American anthropologist Johan Reinhard and his Peruvian climbing partner Miguel Zárate.

Due to the extremely well- preserved condition of her skin, organs, blood, hair, stomach contents and clothes, her body caused ecstasy in the scientific world, offering researchers a view into the Inca culture during the reign of Pachacuti.   In 1995, she was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the world’s top ten discoveries.

The information mentioned above was performed through some DNA analysis shortly after they discovered the mummy. Now scientists believe that recent developments in technology will help them to obtain more information about Juanita and her family. To receive this new information, they will use stem cells stored in her umbilical cord. Besides this, they will investigate as well the seeds and pollen found with Juanita to get some more insight on the climate of the period in which she lived.

If interested, you can see Juanita in the Museum of Andean Sanctuaries in Arequipa, where she is displayed which can be easily combined with other tours in Arequipa

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