FOR years she has remained largely hidden from public view, shrouded in mystery, known only as the Peruvian Princess Mummy.
However, after 156 years in the possession of Elgin Museum, one of its most unusual treasures became a person for the first time.
It was the moment when the mummified remains of a Peruvian woman, claimed as a prize by businessman and explorer James Fletcher in 1845, had her identity and past brought to life.
There were gasps among a large crowd at the museum hall when 3D computer animation images of her face, complete with pleated hair and traditional dress, revealed how she would have looked, alive in her native Peru.
Detailed examination of her bone structure and teeth, which were in magnificent condition, put her age at between 13 and 16 years-old, and she would have been 5ft 4inches tall.
A team of experts from the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at Dundee University, using the latest technology, have created a fascinating identity for the mummy, huddled in a foetal position and stored in a glass jar for so many years.
The inscription on the glass jar containing the mummy, which was presented to the museum by James Fletcher in 1846, confirms that it was found in a cave at Marestasse, an islet by Lake Titicaca, close to the Peru-Bolivia border.
Fletcher (1807-1885), a businessman who had gone to Peru to gather Alpaca wool, had attended Elgin Academy as a child and lived most of his life in Ross-shire.
For more on this story and pictures of the mummy and how she would have looked in life, see 'The Northern Scot' on Friday.