Francisco Pizarro

Dr. William R. Maples and Two Men Examining Mummy for Pizarro Investigation

Dr. William R. Maples and Two Men Examining Mummy for Pizarro Investigation

In 1977, after a crew of workmen unwittingly uncovered several wooden boxes with skeletal remains in a secret crevice beneath the revered resting place of Francisco Pizarro, a debate began among local physicians and historians over which set of remains were truly those of the famous Spanish Conquistador. Dr. Maples was asked to aid in the investigation and in the summer of 1984, he and several colleagues traveled to Lima, Peru, in order to examine the newly found remains.

Dr. Maples with Pizarro skull.

Dr. Maples with Pizarro skull.

Though these images compose the majority of the Pizarro display, it was necessary to include documents that relayed some essential particulars of the investigation, specifically, a hand-written letter from Betty Gatliff, a leader in forensic facial reconstruction, describing her progress with a clay recreation of Pizarro based on the cast taken from the recently uncovered skull.

Soon after, Maples and his associates positively identified the hidden skeletal remains as those of Pizarro, concluding that the long displayed remains were likely misidentified due to time and a series of natural disasters. Maples was able to indentify cause of death as...

Francisco Pizarro