Aspero Woman
Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Aspero Woman or The Lady with Four Brooches
Age 40 - 50 years old when died
Sex female
Status noble class
Height five feet tall
Culture Norte Chico civilization
Date(s) 4,500 years old mummy from
Site a burial chamber in Huaca of the Idols
Current Location
Location discovered in Apero, Caral in north central Peru
Catalog # Unknown
In April 2016, archaeologists discovered a 4,500-year-old female mummy, near one of the oldest cities in the Americas. It has been speculated that the mummy was a noble female who died between the ages of 40 and 50. Archaeologists found valuable objects buried with the mummy, allowing them to confirm the social status of the woman.  The mummy was found at the coastal ruins of Aspero, about 14 miles away from Caral, a city with some of the most ancient pyramids in the Americas.
4500 year old Peruvian mummy

She has also been called the ‘Lady with the Four Brooches’, a woman with high social standing and authority in the ancient Caral civilization. Four brooches or ‘cuatro tupus’ carved from animal bones and shaped like monkeys and birds,  were found pinned to the fabric covering her remains. These ornamental fasteners were used by women of prestige in traditional societies as symbols of their social status.


The mummy was found in a crouched posture and wrapped in textiles,

The four brooches

a cotton textile around her head, and another around her body. Her body was then covered with a cloth, pinned with brooches made from animal bone, fastening the cloth in place.

Tucked between her neck and knees were a 460 white mollusk beads, with a pendant made from dpondylus mollusk.


Before the woman died, she suffered three fractures that could have been caused by a fall, but the exact cause of death is unknown.


The body was unearthed from Huaca of the Idols (“Huaca de los Idolos”), one of the two two huge platform mounds located at the site of Aspero, which covers an area of 35 acres.
4538CAB200000578-4969214-The expression on the ancient face that looks out from the virtu-a-10 1507723880612-1-

Reconstruction of what the Lady with Four Brooches may have looked like

The mummy’s remains were found in a burial chamber covered with a layer of ash. The body was bundled in a crouched position, covered with a cotton and mixed textile brown cloth and a mat of reeds, and entombed with a bowl of offerings containing vegetable fragments and seeds. Analysis indicates the woman was around five feet tall, was right handed, and there were signs that she was used to hard work. The mummy’s cranium was also severely deformed. It had been flattened at the top and back of the head in the parietal and occipital regions. Archaeological findings suggest several ancient Andean societies intentionally distorted the shape of their skulls, starting from birth, as part of an archaic ritual.

Many scientists and archaeologists came together to reconstruct her face. One person in particular, Brazilian 3D graphic artist Cicero Moraes, helped put together what the mummy may have looked like when she was alive.


The History Blog. (2017, October 24). Retrieved November 01, 2017, from

Best, S. (2017, October 11). Face of the Lady with the Four Brooches, a Peruvian noble in the gender-equal

Caral civilisation, is revealed with a reconstruction of her 4,500-year-old skull. Retrieved November 01,

2017, from


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