A FAMILY of eight Inuits frozen in time for centuries are the best-preserved mummies ever found in North America.
The ancient farmers, including a six-month-old baby who experts believe was buried alive, lived in Greenland 500 years ago.
A six-month-old baby is one of eight mummies found frozen in permafrost in GreenlandCredit: Alamy
Found by hunters at an abandoned Inuit encampment in 1972, the mummies still have their skin, fingernails and hair intact after thousands of years.
It’s believed the mummification process was accidental, and resulted from the region’s ice-cold climate.
The settlement of Qilakitsoq, on Greenland’s west coast, is 280 miles north of the Arctic.
Archaeologists think the group died there sometime around 1475 AD.
The mummies still have their skin, fingernails and hair intact after thousands of yearsCredit: Rex Features
The perfectly-preserved corpse of a woman found at the siteCredit: Rex Features
As well as the two children, six adult women were found. Many were heavily tattooed on their foreheads and chins.
The bodies were found in two graves a meter apart.
They were stacked on top of one another with layers of animal skin placed carefully in between.
The mummification process meant many were still wrapped in the fur coats they wore to keep out the chill.
In total, 78 pieces of clothing made from seal, reindeer and other skins were discovered.
Perhaps the most shocking realisation was that the baby appeared to have been buried alive.
A woman and child still wrapped in the clothes they wore 500 years agoCredit: Alamy
Scientists believe the baby was buried aliveCredit: Rex Features
Four of the bodies are on display at a museum in GreenlandCredit: David Stanley
Inuit tradition at the time dictated that if a mother passed away, her children be buried with her.
The practice was carried out even if the children were alive to ensure they passed to the afterlife as a family.
Despite decades of study, researchers have not been able to determine how or why the family died.
Four of the Qilakitsoq mummies are on permanent display at the Greenland National Museum in Nuuk.