Spirit Cave Mummy: The Origins Of The World’s Oldest Natural Mummy, Revealed


The oldest natural mummy in the world is a 10,700-year-old skeleton that has been discovered in Nevada about 80 years ago. DNA sequencing showed that the remains are Native American.

A team of researchers that was led by Eske Willerlev professor in ecology and evolution at the University of Cambridge was tracing the migration of ancient humans through the Americas.

The Spirit Cave Mummy is the oldest mummy

The team confirmed that the Spirit Cave Mummy is the oldest mummy that has been found in North America is an ancient ancestor of the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone tribe.

The mummy was a male of about 40 years old at the time of death, and it was first discovered in 1940 in a dry Nevada cave.

It was wrapped in a blanket, and it seems that the arid conditions there massively helped to preserve the remains 100% intact. They were moved to the Nevada State Museum.

Back in 1996, the radiocarbon dating has shown that these remains were about 9,400 years old which made the mummy the oldest one in North America.

Tracing human movement through North and South America 

These findings are included in a much more extended international study that has been tracing historical human movement through North and South America.

“Extensive DNA analysis of human remains, aged between 600 and 12,000 years, found across the Americas showed that humans quickly moved across the continents during the Ice Age 13,000 years ago,” CNET reported.

While experts were comparing the DNA profiles and looking for similar elements, the team was able to understand how humans have been moving through the region in ancient history.

A second study that has been published in Cell Thursday studied genetic changes over the past 11,000 years, and CNET reported that there had been discovered genetic relationships between samples from Chile, Brazil and those found in Montana from similar time periods.


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