Human trafficking makes the news almost daily—but what about mummy trafficking?
That's the story of a mummified 2-year-old child that was smuggled out of Peru, intercepted in Bolivia, and finally returned to its native land after an exceptionally strange journey.
Believed to be about 700 years old, the small child's body is believed to date from a pre-Incan culture of Peru, reports CTV News.
The mummy was intercepted in Bolivia by authorities there two years ago, when a Bolivian woman was intercepted attempting to ship the corpse to France. It's believed to be a real mummy—but, morbidly, the traffickers added the leg of another child to the bundle, perhaps to increase the bodies sale value, said the BBC.
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Bolivian Culture Minister Pablo Groux formally handed the mummy to Peru at a Tuesday news conference, which was held at Lima's Peruvian Foreign Ministry, reported the BBC.
“This small package,” said Peruvian Culture Minister Luis Peirano to the Associated Press of the mummified child, “is just a sample of the sacking, of the violation of our patrimony and all our inheritance.”
The BBC reports that experts thus far are unable to determine the sex of the child, which measures a mere 12 inches tall and is swathed in cloth. Mummy trafficking, sadly, appears to be on the rise in history-rich Peru.
Who would buy a mummy? You'd probably be surprised. In 2006, a US woman was caught attempting to sell a mummified human skeleton on Ebay, who told authorities that she got the body "from a friend," according to MSNBC.
If you'd like to acquire your very own ancient mummy, this website offers mummified ancient Egyptian hawk heads—but no human remains.
There's one more route to home mummy-ownership. If you can convince someone close to you to donate their body when they die, you can always follow these handy Angient Egypt DIY mummy-making instructions.
In other Peruvian mummy news, archeologists reported on Tuesday that they'd discovered the 500 year old body of a woman in the coastal province of Huaral, according to the Andina news agency.
Finally: ever wondered what it looks like inside of a centuries-old Peruvian mummy? Archaeoscoop is happy to oblige.