The Ice Maiden’s death has been carefully researched though cautious forensic analysis. In 1996 the Inca girl's body was brought to the USA, and subjected to many forensic techniques. This brought together two ways in which the Ice Maiden could have died.
1. The first was gathered by Radiologists. radiologists are scientists who work to diagnosis and treat diseases in human bodies. They determined that:
  • the mummy’s bones, teeth and muscle mass were healthy and in good condition This means she was in fine health at her point of death.
  • The girl's skull revealed injuries from a violent blow. This caused a fracture above her right eye, consequently causing damage to her eye socket (pictured below). Most nauseatingly, the girl’s brain was found confined to one side of her skull!

Through this analysis, it can be determined that the girl was killed by a violent hit to the side of her head, most probably by a club. This led to the fracturing of her skull, and bleeding that filled her skull and pushed the brain to one side. A pretty hard and gross way to die isn't it?!

Scientists revealing trinkets the Ice Maiden was wearing. Note the crushed right side of her face.

2. The second conclusion was created by archaeologists. Archaeologists study ancient artifacts to work out what society was like hundreds of years ago. They suggested that:
  • the girl was sacrificed in an Inca ritual, known as ‘capacocha,’ to please the mountain gods.
  • The various ritual objects found around the girl in her burial area, such as statues and food items, to be offerings to God are a sign that this could be true.
  • Inca sacrifice practices requires the person to be healthy, and she to be sacrificed was first feasted, so as they wouldn't be sacrificed crying of hungry.
  • Scientists discovered that the Ice maiden had a full belly of vegetables and was in perfect health- very worthy of being sacrificed!
  • Her clothing was also noble, bringing together an idea that she was one of the Inca virgins chosen only for the purpose of sacrificing.

    Whichever way she died, it wouldn't have been a very nice experience for a girl who could have only been 12!