Cuzco Mummy in Florence
Human Mummy
Courtesy of Museum of Anthropoogy and Ethnology of the University of Florence
Courtesy of Museum of Anthropoogy and Ethnology of the University of Florence
Biographical Information
Name(s) unknown
Age 18-23
Sex Female
Culture Incan
Date(s) 11th century AD
Site Andes Mountain
Current Location
Location Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology, University of Florence, Italy
Catalog #

Uncovered at the ancient site of Cusco in Peru the mummy, identified as a woman who was between 18 and 23 years old at the time of her death, was brought to Italy in the late 19th century, where it was donated to a museum and housed with 11 other mummies.


Funerary practices at the times included arranging bodies in a fetal position and wrapping them in blankets, securing them with cords, and placing them in baskets with handles for hanging in tombs. Other methods involved smoke-preserving bodies.


Autopsy revealed the young woman’s preserved heart, esophagus and colon were enlarged, indicating she may have suffered from chronic Chagas’ disease,sampling DNA, it was found that Chagas’s disease was what likely killed her, although she also suffered advanced heart disease, megacolon, and megaesophagus. Scientists believe she was likely treated with coca leaves. Further analysis revealed a case of Clostridium difficile (the origin of the infection which causes diarrhea and colitis), and also some types of human papilloma virus (HPV).


Identification of antibiotic resistance genes the gut of this 11th century mummy, researchers identified many antibiotic-resistant genes.


Housed in the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology of the University of Florence, Italy

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