8 Inuit Mummies Found Buried Alive in Greenland 500 Years Ago, Archaeologists Discover

by Zoey T. 25-05-2023

Three sisters with their three daughters and their sons, four and six months old were discovered at the abandoned Qilakitsoq encampment which lies on the Nuussuaq Peninsular near Uummannaq, Greenland.

Grouse hunters Hans and Jokum Grønvold uncovered the group in 1972 in a shallow cave beneath a rocky outcrop. Because the mummies were so well-preserved the men reported their findings to the police.


A six-month-old  boy believed to be buried alive with its eyebrows and hair still intact. The family of eight were found by hunters in 1972 at the abandoned Qilakitsoq encampment, Greenland

Incredible pictures show the mummies with their skin, hair, eyebrows and fingernails intact and bundled in animal fur to prepare them for hunting in the afterlife.

Archaeologists believe the family died around 1475AD and the accidental mummification process resulted from the ice-cold temperatures, according to The Sun.


Six women with tattoos on their foreheads and chins were located in a settlement 280 miles north of the Arctic Circle on the west coast of Greenland.

And according to Inuit tradition, if a mother died, her children were required to be interred alongside her, even if they were still alive, to ensure the family’s tranquil passage into the afterlife.

Hunters discovered the corpses piled with layers of flesh and fur between each one.


The eerie close-up of the  boy shows the infant swaddled in a fur hood with dark brown hair poking out.

It was not uncommon for the infant to be buried alive after the mother had died to prevent it dying a painful death through starvation.

All of the women were believed to have died from natural causes including kidney stones, constipation and poor health. The three sisters were believed to be aged 50 with their three daughters aged between 18 and 30.

Researchers also believe the four-year-old boy had Down’s Syndrome, where it was a custom to bury these ren alive.

A total of 78 items of clothing including the skins of seal and reindeer allowed the bodies to undergo the mummification process.

Four of the Inuit are now displayed at the Greenland National Museum in Nuuk.