Archaeology Mexican archaeologists dig up ancient mummy

Discussion in 'Archaeology' started by mscbkc070904, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    Mexico City - Mexican archaeologists reported the discovery of a 2 300-year-old mummy of a female child along with some fabric, hair, feathers and plant remains in a dry, cold, high-altitude cave in the central state of Queretaro.

    Archaeologists received a tip about some human remains in the cave in a mountainous area known as the Sierra Gorda. They searched the cave, located about 2 900 metres above sea level, and found the girl's mummified remains, which lacked one arm.

    "This is one of the oldest mummies to have been found in Mexico," according to a press release from the Templo Mayor Museum, part of the National Archaeology and Anthropology Institute.

    The mummification was deemed to be due to natural cause - the quick drying of the corpse, along with the high altitude and cool climate - rather than any man-made mummification technique.

    But what was equally interesting was what was found along with the body: a bit of cloth, feathers, the spines of maguey plants and patches of hair, in what may have been funeral offerings. The girl is believed to have died around 320 BC, according tests carried out on her kin and the fabric.

    "At first, given the semi-desert conditions of the site, it was initially thought she might have belonged to some hunter-gatherer group," the museum said. "But given that a cloth fragment was found, the possibility arose that she might have been part of a settled, sedentary group."

    Researchers are still unsure what prehispanic culture the girl belonged to; the remains were found north of the area covered by prehispanic cultures such as the Olmecs or Mayas.