Specialists recreate the appearance of the well-known mummy from Peru, a young Inca who was sacrificed in the snowy Andean region.

On Tuesday, the potential appearance of the most well-known mummy in Peru was revealed. The mummy is that of a teenage Inca girl who was sacrificed in a ritual at least 500 years ago on the Andes.

The bust, made of silicone, depicts a youthful woman with prominent cheekbones, dark eyes, and sun-kissed skin.

Produced by a team of Polish and Peruvian scientists who worked with a Swedish sculptor specializing in facial reconstructions, it was presented in a ceremony at the Andean Sanctuaries Museum of the Catholic University of Santa Maria in Arequipa.

“I never imagined I would see the expression on her face while she was alive,” stated Johan Reinhard, the American anthropologist who discovered the mummy known as “Juanita” and the “Inca Ice Maiden.”

In 1995, Reinhard found the mummy on the snowy Ampato volcano at an altitude exceeding 6,000 meters (19,685 feet).

“Almost three decades later, Oscar Nilsson’s reconstruction has made this a tangible reality,” he stated.

Swedish archaeologist and sculptor Nilsson, known for his expertise in creating 3D facial reconstructions of ancient humans, shared with The Associated Press via email that it took him approximately 400 hours to complete the facial model.

According to Dagmara Socha, a bioarchaeologist from Poland working at the Center for Andean Studies at the University of Warsaw, the initial step in reconstructing Juanita’s face was to acquire a replica of her skull.

According to a statement from the university, “body scans, DNA studies, ethnological characteristics, age, complexion” were utilized in the process of facial reconstruction.

Anthropological research revealed that Juanita, who was 13 to 15 years old at the time, was likely sacrificed between A.D. 1440 and 1450. She had a height of 1.40 meters (55 inches), weight of 35 kilos (77 pounds), and was in good physical condition.

The likely reason for the death was a strong impact to the occipital lobe on the right side, as determined by scientists from Johns Hopkins University who conducted a CT scan.

Reinhard, who has discovered over 14 Inca human sacrifices in the Andes, including three children in a frozen pit at Argentina’s Llullaillaco volcano, stated that researchers have been examining different aspects of Juanita’s life, such as her eating habits and the artifacts found by her.

He stated that these discoveries have enhanced our understanding of her life and the Inca civilization. We are now able to visualize her true appearance, which brings her even more to life.

Source: wral.com