Human Mummies pp 125-129 | Cite as

Early mummies from coastal Peru and Chile

  • M. J. Allison
Part of the The Man in the Ice book series (3262, volume 3)


The countries of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile in South America, were the modern countries that occupied the major geographic areas in the Inca Empire. They incorporate all of the extremes of the world’s climatic conditions from the steaming jungles of the Amazon basin to the frigid arctic climates of the high Andean ranges, many of which have permanent snow and an average daily temperature of 0 °C. The western limits border the Pacific Ocean with a meeting of the sixty mile wide Humboldt current hugging the coast from Antarctica to Punto Pariñas where it mixes with the warm Equatorial current to form one of the richest ocean fauna in the world. Unfortunately the coastal shore is cut by a series of short rivers running east to west that in many cases only have water a few months out of the year. This results in a narrow strip of coastal desert extending for about 3,000 km along the coast from Tumbes in Peru to Copiapo in Chile, that varies in width from a few kilometers to perhaps 200 at the widest part. The best known geographic area is the Atacama Desert, one of the driest spots on earth. This coastal strip is backed by two to three chains of very high mountains in which peaks reach a height well over 6,000 m, the highest Aconcagua is 6,690 m.


Early Mummy Sanitary Napkin Harrises Line Chronic Arsenic Poisoning Modern Country 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. Allison
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyMedical College of VirginiaRichmondUSA

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