The erupting volcano of Sabancaya spewed out clouds of ash over a mile into the sky, blanketing even its higher neighbour Ampato. After three years, the weight of melting snow finally caused a section of Ampato's 20,700-foot high summit ridge to collapse. As it swept into the crater below, the mix of ice and rock carried with it a cloth-wrapped bundle. Smashing against a boulder, the outer cloth of the bundle was torn open and objects were strewn over the icy landscape. But the most important part of the bundle remained intact - the 500-year-old frozen body of an Inca girl. Since Johan Reinhard found the mummy in 1995 and news of its discovery has reached more than a billion people worldwide. It has been the subject of TV documentaries in several languages, front-page newspaper stories and major feature coverage in magazines. Most importantly the Ice Maiden, as the child came to be known, was one of the best-preserved mummies ever found and the only body of an Inca female. The child was preserved as a proverbial time capsule, a human frozen in time, whose study has yielded results ranging from the best-preserved DNA of its age to the first complete clothing of an Inca noble woman.Biografía del autor:
Dr. Reinhard's work at Ampato and on subsequent expeditions to other Andean peaks resulted in his finding ten Inca human sacrifices and the richest collection of Inca artifacts ever made. The physical hazards of high-altitude archaeology, the insight his discoveries yield on the lives and culture of the Inca, and the intrigues and strange, even cult-like, activities surrounding the mummies once they were displayed around the world, provide a human dimension to his science that Dr. Reinhard recounts in his book. The excavations and the excellent preservation of the mummies and artifacts found with them have meant that scientists from an array of fields continue to be fascinated by them.
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