The High Country Archaeological Museum in Salta, Argentina, unveiled La Doncella, the oldest of the three victims, for its first public viewing on September 6, 2008. The museum is displaying the mummy in a refrigerated, low-oxygen environment to reproduce the high-altitude conditions that allowed for its remarkable, natural preservation. The mummies of the other two children remain in storage for further study, museum officials said.
"The discovery of the three mummies [in 1999] … was the highlight of my life, or certainly [of] my work in the Andes," Reinhard told National Geographic News in 2005. "These mummies were far better preserved … than the Ice Maiden."
The excavation of the mummies at the mountain's peak was the world's highest archaeological dig, according to anthropologist Johan Reinhard.
Archaeologists carry the 500-year-old mummies of three Inca children down Argentina's Llullaillaco volcano in 1999.
The researchers wrapped the frozen bodies in layers of plastic, snow, and foam insulation to keep them cold and maintain their exquisite preservation. The mummies were taken to the city of Salta for study, where one of them is now on display for the first time at a local museum.