Archaeologists Found 'North America’s Best Preserved Mummies'

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Archaeologists Found 'North America’s Best Preserved Mummies'

 

In 1972, a group of hunters discovered a mummified family of eight Inuits frozen in time for centuries on the west coast of Greenland, 280 miles north of the Arctic. The Inuits are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples. It was believed that they inhabited Canada, Alaska, the Arctic regions of Greenland, and Inuit Nunangat. The mummies were so well-preserved that archaeologists considered them the best-preserved mummies ever found in North America.

 

Photo Credit: Daily Mail

 

The Daily Mail, a British daily middle-market newspaper published in London in a tabloid format, reported that the hunters found the Inuit family stacked on top of each other with layers of skin and fur between them, almost intact. The family consisted of three sisters with their three daughters and their sons, four and six months old. They still have their skin, hair, eyebrows, and fingernails after more than 500 years. They were also bundled in animal fur to prepare them for hunting in the afterlife. Aside from that, six women in the family had tattoos on their foreheads and chins.

 

Photo Credit: Daily Mail

 

It was believed that all of the women died from natural causes such as poor health, constipation, and kidney stones. They were thought to be aged 50 with their three daughters aged between 18 and 30. The four-year-old boy who was found with them had Down's Syndrome. According to the archaeologists, the family died around 1475AD. Part of their culture was to bury the children if the mother passed away because they believed that this would ensure the family passed peacefully to the afterlife together. 

 

Photo Credit: Daily Mail

 

The accidental mummification resulted from the ice-cold temperatures of the country. The mummification process had been successful due to the skins of seal and reindeer the family wore. According to studies, dead bodies will only be preserved so long as they remain frozen. Four of them are on permanent display at the Greenland National Museum in Nuuk.

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