giovedì 27 febbraio 2014

Mummia Incaica di donna

Un forte trauma cranico contusivo - su una mummia recante segni di malattia di Chagas (una parassitosi tropicale)  - suggerisce l'omicidio come causa di morte, non diversamente dai riscontri su altre mummie  sud americane. La mummia (ospitata da circa un secolo nella collezione di in un museo archeologico bavarese) è stata studiata con metodiche forensi della moderna medicina legale. Essa risale al 1450/1640 dopo Cristo. Il grave trauma cranio facciale che la mummia presenta potrebbe proprio essere quello che ha ucciso la giovane donna, all'età di circa 20/25 anni. La giovane donna aveva le trecce legate con fibre di lama o di alpaca: l'esame dei capelli svela che la sua dieta era  a base di frutti di mare e di mais, per cui si ritiene vivesse sulla costa (Cile o Perù). La parassitosi intestinale era probabilmente presente dell'età infantile.

Impact on Incan mummy skull suggests murder

 Blunt force trauma to the skull of a mummy with signs of Chagas disease may support homicide as cause of death, which is similar to previously described South American mummies, according to a study published February 26, 2014 in PLOS ONE by Stephanie Panzer from Trauma Center Murau, Germany, and colleagues, a study that has been directed by the paleopathologist Andreas Nerlich from Munich University. 

This is a frontal view of the mummy which reveals typical squatting position (although  the legs are broken off below both knees) 
[Credit: Andreas Nerlich] 

For over a hundred years, the unidentified mummy has been housed in the Bavarian State Archeological Collection in Germany. To better understand its origin and life history, scientists examined the skeleton, organs, and ancient DNA using a myriad of techniques: anthropological investigation, a complete body CT scan, isotope analysis, tissue histology, molecular identification of ancient parasitic DNA, and forensic injury reconstruction

External appearance of the hair plaits which are fixed at their ends by tiny ropes of foreign material. 
[Credit: Andreas Nerlich] 

Radiocarbon dated to around 1450 -- 1640 AD, skeletal examination indicated that the mummy was likely 20-25 years old at the time of her death, and her skull exhibits typical Incan-type skull formations. Fiber from her hair bands appear to originate from South American llama or alpaca. Isotope analysis of nitrogen and carbon in her hair reveal a diet likely comprising maize and seafood, which, along with other evidence suggest South American origin and a life spent in coastal Peru or Chile. Detailed view of the mummy's face. Note the transverse defect above the left eye.  Both eyes are closed and covered by skin. 

The mouth is ovally opened, the frontal teeth are missing 
[Credit: Andreas Nerlich] 

The mummy also showed significant thickening of the heart, intestines, and the rectum, features typically associated with chronic Chagas disease, a tropical parasitic infection. DNA analysis of parasites found in rectum tissue samples also support chronic Chagas disease, a condition she probably had since early infancy. The skull structure where a massive skull and face trauma occurred, suggests the trauma was acquired prior to death, and indicates massive central blunt force. The young Incan may have been victim of a ritual homicide, as has been observed in other South American mummies. 

Source: PLOS [February 26, 2014] 
Read more at:
Follow us: @ArchaeoNewsNet on Twitter | groups/thearchaeologynewsnetwork/ on Facebook