Santuarios Andinos Museum

The museum is situated in the Catholic University of Santa Maria, and while small, has many fascinating exhibits. The most notable exhibit is a mummy of a teenaged Inca maiden, which is one of the most important archaeological find of the last few decades in the Americas. Found frozen in the Andes in 1995 by the American anthropologist, Dr. Johan Reinhard, the mummy contained many clues and information about her culture and life. It is believed that she was a victim of the ritualistic sacrifice by Inca priests and her death brought about by a violent blow to the head. She is estimated to be about 13 years old when she died, she lay buried beneath the snow for 550 years, only being revealed after an eruption of the nearby Sabancaya Volcano melted the ice on the peak. The Ice Maiden Juanita was in the lab and not on display so we saw another Ice Maiden Sarita sitting in a lotus position but we saw the clothes and artifacts of Juanita. No pictures were allowed to be taken inside the museum.

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