The Ice Maiden

The Ice Maiden

Inca Mummies, Mountain Gods, and Sacred Sites in the Andes

Book - 2005
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Random House, Inc.
Johan Reinhard's discovery of the 500-year-old frozen body of an Inca girl made international headlines in 1995, reaching more than a billion people worldwide. One of the best-preserved mummies ever found, it was a stunning and significant time capsule, the spectacular climax to an Andean quest that yielded no fewer than ten ancient human sacrifices as well as the richest collection of Inca artifacts in archaeological history.

Here is the paperback edition of his first-person account, which The Washington Post called "incredible…compelling and often astonishing" andThe Wall Street Journal described as "… part adventure story, part detective story, and part memoiran engaging look at a rarefied world." It's a riveting combination of mountaineering adventure, archaeological triumph, academic intrigue, and scientific breakthrough which has produced important results ranging from the best-preserved DNA of its age to the first complete set of an Inca noblewoman's clothing.

At once a vivid personal story, a treasure trove of new insights on the lives and culture of the Inca, and a fascinating glimpse of cutting-edge research in fields as varied as biology, botany, pathology, ornithology and history,The Ice Maiden is as spellbinding and unforgettable as the long-dead but still vital young woman at its heart.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

David Brown Book Co
The erupting volcano of Sabancaya spewed out clouds of ash over a mile into the sky, blanketing even its higher neighbor Ampato. After three years the weight of melting snow finally caused a section of Ampato's 20,700' high summit ridge to collapse. As it swept into the crater below, the mix of ice and rock carried with it a cloth-wrapped bundle. Smashing against a boulder, the outer cloth of the bundle was torn open and objects were strewn over the icy landscape. But the most important part of the bundle remained intact-the frozen body of an Inca child. Since Johan Reinhard found the mummy in 1995, news of its discovery has reached more than a billion people. It has been the subject of TV documentaries in several languages, and front-page newspaper stories (e.g. NY Times), major stories in magazines (e.g. Newsweek and Time). But most importantly it was one of the best-preserved mummies ever found and the only body of an Inca female. It provides the proverbial time capsule, a human frozen in time, whose study has yielded results ranging from the best preserved DNA of its age to the first complete clothing of an Inca noble woman. During later expeditions Reinhard led to the mountain, three more Inca human sacrifices and several rare gold and silver statures-clothed in finely woven miniature textiles-and other artifacts added to the discovery's significance. The original mummy, now known by the name of the "Ice Maiden" was chosen by Time magazine as one of the world ten most important scientific discoveries for 1995. Dr. Reinhard's work at Ampato and on subsequent expeditions to other Andean peaks resulted in his finding ten Inca human sacrifices and the richest collection of Inca artifacts ever made. The physical hazards of high-altitude archaeology, the insight his discoveries yield on the lives and culture of the Inca, the intrigues and strange, even cult-like, activities surrounding the mummies once they were displayed around the world, provide a human dimension to his science that Dr. Reinhard recounts in his book. The excavations and the excellent preservation of the mummies and artifacts found with them have meant that scientists from an array of fields-biologists, botanists, chemists, pathologists, ornithologists, nutritionists, and historians-continue to be fascinated by them.Rarely is it possible to have such a combination of adventure and discovery together with important "firsts" in the field of science. Rare still is to have them be about a topic that cuts across age and cultural boundaries, causing headlines around the world. The discoveries have opened up completely new areas of research about the past and have impacted dramatically on the countries where they occurred¿and not least of all on the lives of the people who made them.
The erupting volcano of Sabancaya spewed out clouds of ash over a mile into the sky, blanketing even its higher neighbor Ampato. After three years the weight of melting snow finally caused a section of Ampato's 20,700' high summit ridge to collapse. As it swept into the crater below, the mix of ice and rock carried with it a cloth-wrapped bundle.

Baker & Taylor
Takes readers on a two-decade, high-altitude adventure through the Andes mountains where the author discovered the perfectly preserved bodies of five-thousand-year-old Incans--some of the greatest scientific discoveries of the last decade.

Blackwell North Amer
Half a millennium ago, a party of Inca priests and a young virgin climbed more than 20,000 feet to the summit of the Andean peak of Ampato. At the climax of their ceremony, the girl was sacrificed and buried along with sacred offerings of textiles, food, and figurines of silver and gold; there the Inca Ice Maiden would remain undisturbed for 500 years, until Johan Reinhard found her in 1995. It was a stunning discovery that made headlines all over the world - but it was just the beginning of this tale of adventure, high-altitude archaeology, and groundbreaking scientific accomplishment.
In his first-hand account, Reinhard, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, chronicles more than two decades of challenging research that led him on over 200 climbs of some of the world's highest mountains, and culminated in two seasons of unprecedented finds - first the ice maiden on Ampato, and four years later on Llullaillaco, where three Inca children lay frozen in a state of near-perfect preservation. Dead for centuries yet still alive in their startling humanity, they are mute yet eloquent witnesses to ancient Inca civilization and custom, yielding everything from statuary and ceremonial clothing to DNA samples - each a new piece in the cultural puzzle that is Reinhard's life's work.

Baker
& Taylor

Takes readers on a two-decade adventure through the Andes mountains where the author discovered the perfectly preserved bodies of five-thousand-year-old Incans--some of the greatest scientific discoveries of the last decade.

Simon and Schuster
The erupting volcano of Sabancaya spewed out clouds of ash over a mile into the sky, blanketing even its higher neighbor Ampato. After three years the weight of melting snow finally caused a section of Ampato's 20,700' high summit ridge to collapse. As it swept into the crater below, the mix of ice and rock carried with it a cloth-wrapped bundle. Smashing against a boulder, the outer cloth of the bundle was torn open and objects were strewn over the icy landscape. But the most important part of the bundle remained intact-the frozen body of an Inca child. Since Johan Reinhard found the mummy in 1995, news of its discovery has reached more than a billion people. It has been the subject of TV documentaries in several languages, and front-page newspaper stories (e.g. NY Times), major stories in magazines (e.g. Newsweek and Time). But most importantly it was one of the best-preserved mummies ever found and the only body of an Inca female. It provides the proverbial time capsule, a human frozen in time, whose study has yielded results ranging from the best preserved DNA of its age to the first complete clothing of an Inca noble woman. During later expeditions Reinhard led to the mountain, three more Inca human sacrifices and several rare gold and silver statures-clothed in finely woven miniature textiles-and other artifacts added to the discovery's significance. The original mummy, now known by the name of the "Ice Maiden" was chosen by Time magazine as one of the world ten most important scientific discoveries for 1995. Dr. Reinhard's work at Ampato and on subsequent expeditions to other Andean peaks resulted in his finding ten Inca human sacrifices and the richest collection of Inca artifacts ever made. The physical hazards of high-altitude archaeology, the insight his discoveries yield on the lives and culture of the Inca, the intrigues and strange, even cult-like, activities surrounding the mummies once they were displayed around the world, provide a human dimension to his science that Dr. Reinhard recounts in his book. The excavations and the excellent preservation of the mummies and artifacts found with them have meant that scientists from an array of fields-biologists, botanists, chemists, pathologists, ornithologists, nutritionists, and historians-continue to be fascinated by them.Rarely is it possible to have such a combination of adventure and discovery together with important "firsts" in the field of science. Rare still is to have them be about a topic that cuts across age and cultural boundaries, causing headlines around the world. The discoveries have opened up completely new areas of research about the past and have impacted dramatically on the countries where they occurred¿and not least of all on the lives of the people who made them.

Publisher: Washington, D.C. : National Geographic Society, [2005]
Copyright Date: ©2005
ISBN: 9780792268383
0792268385
Branch Call Number: 985.019 REINH REINH
Characteristics: xiii, 384 pages : illustrations (some color), map ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: National Geographic Society (U.S.)

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4ntrvlr
Jul 02, 2012

I remember the news items about these finds and it was fascinating to read about this mountaineer-archaeologist-anthropologist and his work. Indiana Jones eat your heart out! Learned so much about the Inca civilization and some modern issues in Peru. Great photos and maps.

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