Unveiling The Mystery Of Oldest Mummies Much Older Than Egyptian Mummies. The Mystic Chinchorro mummies.




The first archaic humans known to have mummified their loved ones are on the arid regions of Atacama desert the driest place on Earth. The Chinchorro people occupied the coastal bays of the Atacama Desert, today it is known as Chile around 7,000 BC and invented a technique for mummification around 5,000 BC. Almost 2000 Years prior to Egyptian innovated the mummification process.

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What Made the World’s Oldest Mummies Kept Under Wraps? Why Very Less Is Known About Them?

Why Ancient People started a complex process Mummification? Is it was mere a culture driven tradition or any scientific purpose prevailed?

Chilean scientist Pablo Marquet has made an attempt to answer that question by studying the world’s oldest mummies – those created by the Chinchorro people of northern Chile. The mummification process was very complex; Chinchorro preserved all of their dead – man and woman, elderly and infants. They went to great pains and effort to do so. They would remove the organs and muscles of their dead in the first place, strengthen the skeletons with sticks, and fill the bodies with soil and vegetation, plants to get the right shape.  They covered and rolled the body in a mud coat and clay mask, and decorated it with bountiful colours.

Marquet believe they know why this practice began. Rather than just looking at cultural factors, he attributed the practice to climate change and population change. By the time the body was mummified, Chinchorro had experienced a population explosion caused by the abundant coastal waters. However, they also lived in the Atacama Desert, which is known as the driest place in the world. In such a dry environment, all buried corpses take lot time to decompose. The land around him naturally turned into a mummy, and Chinchorro people simply followed the trait.

Today, the Atacama is very dry and there is no rain at some areas within the Atacama desert. But this was not always the case. There used to be wet areas in deserts.

Marquet team recently discovered this by analysing long pillars of ice in the highlands near Bolivia. Ice gave an analysis how much snow there has been in the mountains over 14,000 years, which reflects rainfall and fresh water levels in the lowlands.

This informational recommended that somewhere in the range of 5,000 and 7,000 years back, water in the Atacama wasn’t just about as restricted as it typically is. The Chinchorro might have exploited the run-offs from the mountains, and wetlands that arose along the coast. The oceans during that era had solid upwelling flows that pulled supplements from the profound deep of the water Bodies, and upheld a flourishing stock of fish and sea food off the coast. Thus Chinchorro people thrived with the food supply.

This period was their prime, when they deserted a nomadic way of life and got comfortable and used to the generally harsh Atacama. Marquet’s group assessed the changing size of the Chinchorro populace by utilizing information from 460 archeological destinations in Peru and Chile, which have all been scientifically measured. The outcomes indicated that this populace began quickly expanding around 7,000 years prior, crested 6,000 years back, and fell into decay around 4,000 years back. With enormous and stable numbers, the Chinchorro had the correct elements for new social developments, including new types of fishing snares, spears and loads.

Marquet says that even though groundwater and streams supported the Chinchorro, the Atacama was hardly lush but mostly arid. In an arid climate any dead bodies that were buried there would have barely decayed. Thus there was a natural onset of mummification process

These presence of natural mummies among living individual lead to culture that dead were also part of their lives. They believed in after life.

Around 4,400 years back, the Atacama began turning into the uncommonly dry spot it is today. Water sources dried off and sliced the measure of supplements and food in the encompassing waters. Deprived of food and water, the Chinchorro populace began to fall. They did not pass the knowledge of mummification to their generation and eventually their method of mummification vanished from existence and is very less today.

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Recent Research On the Mummies

15 of the mummies, many of them children and infants, were recently carried to the Los Condes clinic in Santiago, where researchers examined them using a CT scanner to study their fragile forms without damaging them. “We collected thousands of images with a precision of less than one millimeter,” chief radiologist Marcelo Galvez tells Fleitas. “The next phase is to try to dissect these bodies virtually, without touching them, which will help us preserve them for another 500,000 years.”

The scientists additionally desire to carefully remake facial reconstruction and musculature of the mummies to uncover what they resembled throughout everyday life. They additionally took skin and hair test for DNA testing, which they expectation will help them connect the Chinchorro mummies to a present day population in South America.

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How The Mummification Process Was different From Egyptian?

The mummies they made, nonetheless, contrasted from those protected by the antiquated Egyptians. Fleitas clarifies that the Chinchorro would eliminate the skin of the perished then cautiously separate the muscles and organs uncovering the skeleton. They would then round out the body with plants, dirt and wood prior to sewing the skin back on and covering the face with a veil.

Yet, there is still a lot to find out about these old methods—and time is getting progressively short. College of Tarapaca historical center guardian Mariela Santos started seeing lately that the skin of a portion of the 100 mummies in her assortment were disintegrating, transforming into a dark ooze reports Chris Kraul at The LA Times. The gallery brought in Ralph Mitchell, an antique caretaker from Harvard, who refined the microscopic organisms on the mummies.

What he discovered is that basic skin microorganisms that are ordinarily considerate in the dry desert environment of the Atacama had started devouring the mummies’ collagen because of an undeniably muggy environment in the northern areas. New mummies found at unearthing destinations close to Arica are now giving indications of decay; mummies found during the 1980s, which were at first flawless, have started “softening” in the most recent decade.

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What Was The Reason Behind Red And Black Mummies?

Preservation started with foetuses and infants (maybe because of high fetal mortality in the arsenic-rich desert) prior to advancing to adulthood. There were five different styles over a range of around 4,000 Years. Making the dark or black mummies included taking the dead individual’s body totally separated, treating it and afterward reassembling it, skin and all. The red ones were made by making little incisions to eliminate interior organs and afterward drying the body holes.

Both were normally loaded down with sticks, vegetable fiber, animal hairs and reeds (to round out the structures), decorated with hairpieces, and veiled with clay over the countenances – the black Mummies were painted in manganese and the red mummies were painted in ochre.

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