The oldest mummies in the world are not found in Egypt, but in the sand of the Chilean desert Atacama, where it is the oldest from 5000 BC, while the “youngest” is already 5,000 years old, according to a magazine of the US Archaeological Institute.


As stated by “Archeology”, from the moment they were excavated, these mummies were faced with changes that the millenniums in the country did not bring.

 The mummies are kept in controlled climatic conditions at the Archeological and Anthropological Museum of San Miguel de Azap in Arisia, but archaeologist Marcel Sepulveda of the University of Tarapac recently noticed that the skin began to black them and take on gelatinous appearance, which are safe signs of decay.

“I wanted to study not only skin decay but what causes it,” she said.

That’s why she was asked to help microbiologist Ralph Mitchell of the University of Harvard, in order to make DNA tests and chemical analyzes to determine which microorganisms and chemical processes lead to the deterioration of these mummies.

It turned out that the mummies slowly collapsed for at least ten years and that the process accelerated by climate change despite the fact that the museum controls the temperature and humidity of the air in the room where they are stored.

“The climate in this region has changed from fresh and dry to hot and humid, and increased humidity has stimulated the microbes that live on the skin, which we mostly rub, grow and damage the skin of mummies,” Michel says.

Sepulveda also thinks that increased agricultural activity in the region has led to a rise in humidity around the museum.

Experts are concerned about museum mummies, but also those they will just find.

– I think this is a critical question. What will happen if you find another cemetery with lots of mummies? Mičel asks.

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