Maria d'Aragona
Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Maria d'Aragona
Age 65
Sex f
Status high
Culture Italian
Date(s) 1503-1568
Site Saint Domenico Maggiore Naples, Italy
Current Location
Location Saint Domenico Maggiore Naples, Italy
Catalog #

Maria d'Aragona was the duaghter of Duke of Montalto Ferdinando d'Aragona. She had married Alfonso d'Avalos in 1523. Maria lived in the ducal palace in Milan, while her husband was constantly in the field with his army. Known for her beauty she was part of intellectual and religious Ischia. She hosted a famous salon for writers and artists which included Paolo Giovio, Girolamo Muzio, Pietro Aretino, Giulio Camillo and Bernardo Spina.


Crypt mummies are naturally occurring due to the micro-climate created in such structures.

The preserved yellow knit stocking worn by Maria d'Aragona

Like every other mummy under St. Domenico Maggiore, however, she was subject to embalming which researchers say was standard for those of higher social and economic standing at the time.

Her clothing including yellow knit stockings was well preserved.


Cutaneous ulcers were found on the left arm of her body. With the findings from the ultrastructural studies the team the found the mummies concluded that the Maria suffered from some form of syphilis.

Between 1984 and 1987, studies showed signs of syphilis and anogenital warts, which both are sexually transmitted. Treponema pallidum, the microbial cause of syphilis was isolated in a syphilitic gumma on her left arm, and human papilloma virus (HPV type 18), a common cause of genital warts and of vulvar and cervical cancer, was isolated from a papilloma in her groin. A swelling of her left leg could correspond with edema from lymphogenic metastases from metastatic vulvar cancer, which may have been the leading cause of her death.


Gino Fornaciari (2007) “

Maria Teresa (N/A)

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