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Agnaiyaaq ("Little Girl")
Human Mummy
Capture.JPG
Biographical Information
Name(s) Agnaiyaaq ("Little Girl")
Age Est. 5-8 Yrs.
Sex Female
Status Child
Height N/A
Source
Culture Eskimo
Date(s) Thule Culture (c. A.D. 800-1200)
Site Ukkaqsi
Current Location
Location reburied, Barrow, Alaska
Catalog #

Agnaiyaaq or "Little Girl" was estimated to have been five to eight years old when she died over 800 years ago, she was a part of the Thule culture c. AD 800-1200. The mummy was found at Ukkuqsi in the old whaling village of Utqiagvik.

Mummification

Due to the frigid climate documented in this region during this time period, the body was found well preserved in ice and the exterior of the body was intact.

Pathology

The cause of death was determined to have been starvation after an autopsy and x-rays found various non-edible objects, such as clay, leather, and fur in the girl's stomach.

Numerous growth arrest lines were discovered in her long bones. It was determined that in life the child was chronically ill. The autopsy also found that she suffered from several diseases including:Pulmonary Edema, Hypoproteinemia, an accumulation of bloody fluids in the chest cavity, a collapsed left lung, Emphysema and Alpha-1-Antitrypsin deficiency (a rare congenital disease). This genetic defect deprived her of a key enzyme and allowed her lungs to be decimated by emphysema, and destroying her ability to walk. All of these contributing to her death.

Studies

Grave goods included a toboggan, parka, a small skin bag, and hide rope.

Soot deposits in her lungs suggest she spent her life by the fire, with worn teeth indicating she contributed by chewing on hides to soften them.

Agnaiyaaq was the best preserved prehistoric human ever found in Alaska.

External Links

Zimmerman, M., Jensen, A., & Sheehan, G. (2000). Agnaiyaaq: The Autopsy of a Frozen Thule Mummy. Arctic Anthropology, 37(2), 52-59. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40316529

Window On The Frozen Past -- Tiny Body Offers Glimpse Of Inuit History; Erosion Threatens Archeologists; Efforts by Bill Dietrich: https://archive.seattletimes.com/archive/?date=19951024&slug=2148545


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