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Mummies Galore at Guanajuato's Museum of Mummies - Guanajuato, Mexico

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Ignacia Aguilar's Mummy - Buried Alive?
Ignacia Aguilar's Mummy - Buried Alive?

Ignacia Aguilar's Mummy - Buried Alive?

© Kathleen Crislip
In the days of yore, bodies were buried without being embalmed, a process in which blood is let out of the body and an embalming fluid is pumped in, and a process which certainly helps the living avoid accidentally burying someone alive who's thought to be dead -- something that's doubtless happened plenty over the centuries. Did it happen in Guanajuato? There may be proof in the mummy museum:

Ignacia Aguilar, whose mummy is pictured above, was a Guanajuato resident who was thought to have succumbed to the plague and accordingly buried. When her coffin was opened during exhumation, legend says that she was found facing down, leading to speculation that she may have tried to push the coffin lid up with her back. What's absolutely true is that she had scratches on her forehead when her body was exhumed and her arms were over her head: in the 1800's, bodies were buried with arms folded over the chest. These clues led a team from National Geographic to surmise that the legend's true, and that Ignacia Aguilar was buried alive in Guanajuato. Today, her mummy rests in a case with other mummies of her era; she's farthest from the camera in the photo above.

It's an interesting trip, looking at the mummy of a human said to have been murdered, or buried alive. A strange trip. Something else that seems strange but isn't: go on to the next page to learn about the death mask many mummies wear...

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