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CT Scans Reveal Secrets of South American Mummies

Friday, September 16, 2022

Mummy Skull CT ScanMUNICH, GERMANY—Live Science reports that Andreas Nerlich of the Munich Clinic Bogenhausen and his colleagues examined 3-D computed tomography scans taken of three sets of naturally mummified human remains from northern Chile and southwestern Peru that have been held in museums in Germany and Switzerland. Radiocarbon dating of the remains indicates that they are between 740 and 1,120 years old. The researchers found evidence that two of the bodies belonged to men who may have died violent deaths. One had been hit on the head and stabbed in the back, while the other had suffered a dislocated neck. “The types of trauma we found would not have been detectable if these human remains had been mere skeletons,” Nerlich explained. The third set of mummified remains has been identified as a woman who died of natural causes. Read the original scholarly article about this research in Frontiers in Medicine. To read about a well-preserved mummy buried at the ceremonial center of Pachacamac on the coast of Peru, go to "All Bundled Up." 

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