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Ecuadorean mummy could shed light on history of diseases

Ecuadorean mummy could shed light on history of diseases

Republic of Ecuador

A discovery dating back to 1949 and it could shed new light on the history of diseases between Europe and the New World.

A mummified body from the 16th century was found standing in the wall of an Ecuadorian church.

It had been stuck there for centuries and sheltered from rats and flies, the well-preserved remains have long intrigued experts.

There is no evidence to show that the mummy was a friar or a person of a religious order. What we know from yesterday is that the cause of death for the mummy was a massive oral infection that spread to the skin, blood and brain.

“What makes it strange is that the mummy was found in an upright position, without a casket, without any offerings. It was not a typical grave. It’s position was strange”, said French pathologist, Phillipe Charlier.

Phillipe Charlierwho has already studied Hitler’s remains is scanning the mummy today to discover what it can reveal about the history of disease.

“There is no evidence to show that the mummy was a friar or a person of a religious order. What we know from yesterday is that the cause of death for the mummy was a massive oral infection that spread to the skin, blood and brain”, he added.

The mummy’s first preliminary results revealed the presence of an inflammatory disease in the joints, which could reveal rheumatoid arthritis that was common in the Americas and preceded Columbus’ arrival.

The man was about 90 years old according to the tests done so far.

Further tests into the mummy are still to be carried out, using carbon dating, radiographs and endoscopies. Experts hope to paint a fuller picture of the mummy and his profile in the coming months.

Reuters

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