The mummies of Santa Elena, a little-known tourist attraction in Yucatán

(Photo: yucatán al momento)

In the Santa Elena Mummies Museum Cultural and Artistic Center you can learn about the history of the town, its traditions, products and crafts, as well as a Maya tomb and the main attraction are the bodies of four semi-mummified girls

(DESCUBRO) Santa Elena, Yucatán.- Located just 10 kilometers from the archaeological zone of Uxmal, this southern municipality possess one of the unique treasures of the state: the body of four mummies found in the church of San Mateo.

To one side of the temple is the Cultural and Artistic Center Museum of the Mummies (Cecamm) where you can visit three rooms. There, you can learn about the history of the town, its traditions, products and crafts, as well as a Maya tomb and the main attraction that are the bodies of four semi-mummified girls.

Forty years ago, in August 1980, while repairs were being made to the floor of the Catholic temple, 12 coffins appeared containing the bodies of partially mummified infants. Some kept their hair, nails, eyelashes and clothing.

This finding surprised the inhabitants of the community and was a trend in the local newspapers back then, with the headline ‘Los Enanos de Santa Elena‘.

Of the twelve corpses, five were reburied and three were transferred to the forensic warehouse in the city of Mérida.

The other four bodies, females between the ages of 3 and 7, were kept at the INAH Center for study and preservation. The results were reflected in the book “The mummies of the church of Santa Elena”.

The causes of conservation were due to the fact that they were buried in boxes decorated with water-based paint; the coffins were made of cedar wood; boards were placed at the bottom of the pits and everything was covered with alternating layers of lime and earth.

On the other hand, fungi and bacteria did not affect the corpses since cedar contains a substance called ‘tannin’ that prevents the reproduction of microorganisms that destroy soft tissue.

Although they have had little promotion in the southern region of the state, the Mummies Museum is known as one of the tour options and tourist attractions on the route.

The admission cost is 20 pesos and children under 12 do not pay. All the health protocols are observed in this site, and although it is not included in any international tourist agenda, tourists who visit the Uxmal archaeological zone can get to know and learn about the Mummies of Santa Elena.

The Yucatan Times
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