Date of this Version
Published in MUMMIES, DISEASE & ANCIENT CULTURES, Second Edition, ed. Aidan Cockburn, Eve Cockburn, and Theodore A. Reyman. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. pp. 121–137.
Mummification was not intentional for most North American prehistoric cultures. Natural mummification occurred in the dry areas of North America, where mummies have been recovered from rock shelters, caves, and overhangs. In these places, corpses desiccated and spontaneously mummified. In North America, mummies are recovered from four main regions: the southern and southwestern United States, the Aleutian Islands, and the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. This chapter is limited to a discussion of burial practices and a tabulation of the location of mummies in the southwestern United States with some comments on mummies of the southern United States, including the Ozarks.