Lost John
Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Unknown
Age 45
Sex m
Status miner
Height 5'3
Culture first nations
Site Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
Current Location
Catalog #

Found in Mammoth Cave in 1935, the mummy is a male approximately 45 years old and about 5' 3". His remains had been preserved by the dryness of the Cave

The mummy was nicknamed “Lost John”, he had apparently been a prehistoric miner when a block of rock shifted and trapped him. Examination of the corpse in situ revealed that only his head and arm remained free from the rock, and he died in place.


Autopsy found hickory nuts and sunflower seeds were in his stomach.


Cloth associated with the body has been dated to about 445 B.C.


Lost John was on public display at the discovery site and then at Giant's Coffin until the 1970s. The mummy was reburied in the 1970s in a spot near the discovery site. The exact site is supposedly known only to the Mammoth Cave superintendent.

The discovery site is shown on the “Violet City Tour” of the cave system along the eastern side of the Main Cave Metal straps on one rock can still be seen, which were used in lifting it during initial recovery of the mummy.


Lost John of Mummy Ledge. Alonzo W. Pond. March Natural History. Kentucky: Natural History. 1937 ( tDAR id: 175890)

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