The gruesome final moments of centuries-old mummies have been uncovered using cutting-edge technology.
In a paper last week, scientists described how they used 3D scans to study the cause of death of three South American mummies.
A poor soul is believed to have been stabbed in the back after receiving a severe blow to the head, likely from a blunt weapon.
A second is said to have died as a result of “massive trauma” in the neck.
The mummies were found decades ago, but scientists are only now uncovering their secrets.
That’s because new scanning technology allows them to see under layers of cloth wrapped around bodies.
Using 3D computed tomography — the same CT scan you find in hospitals — archaeologists can examine bones, tissues, and more.
That means mummies can be analyzed in unprecedented detail to figure out how they might have kicked the bucket.
In the in “frontiers in medicine“Scientists described the study of three pre-Columbian South American mummies.
The two males and one female are believed to have died between 740 and 1120 years ago and were found in Peru and Chile.
According to the report, each was “naturally mummified” and had “good preservation of soft tissue.”
The men were found to have been brutally murdered and died on the spot from extreme violence, while the woman died of natural causes.
According to the researchers, one of the slaughtered men was between 20 and 25 years old and part of a fishing community.
He died because either “an attacker struck the victim in the head with full force and [a] second attacker stab[bed] the victim (who was still standing or kneeling) at the back.”
They added, “Alternatively, the same or another attacker, standing on the victim’s right side, struck the head and then turned to the victim’s back and stabbed him.”
Similarly, the second male mummy had “massive trauma” to the neck that likely killed him.
“The significant dislocation of the two cervical vertebrae is itself fatal and might have resulted in instantaneous death,” the authors write.
The woman died of natural causes, although her scans showed extensive skeletal damage.
This is believed to have happened after death, probably accidentally during her funeral.
Scientists stressed that discoveries like these were not possible in the recent past because the technology was not available.
Now researchers can examine the tissues surrounding bones to uncover new information about the life – and death – of a mummy.
“The availability of modern CT scans with the possibility of 3D reconstruction offers unique insights into bodies that would otherwise not have been discovered,” says Andreas Nerlich, pathology researcher at the Munich Klinikum Bogenhausen and co-author of the study.
“Previous studies would have either destroyed the mummy, while X-rays or older CT scans without three-dimensional reconstruction capabilities would not have been able to detect the key diagnostic features we found here.”
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9398015/3d-scans-brutal-murders-mummies-stabbed/ Eerie 3D scans reveal brutal murders of mummies ‘beaten and stabbed’ 1100 years ago