Mummy Murder Mystery Solved: Incan Woman's Head Destroyed

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By Parismita Goswami | February 28, 2014 9:44 PM EST

Researchers revealed that the mysterious mummy that deteriorated in the German collection for over a century is of an Incan woman who was killed by smashing the head.

Reuters
Mummy murder mystery solved, Incan woman's head destroyed (Representational Image)

According to the analysis, the mummy was from Incan Empire era who suffered from a parasitic disease that narrows the intestinal and heart walls. Researchers made a possibility that the woman was killed as a part of some ritual murder since she was on the verge of death.

The story of the mummy dates back to 1890's, when Princess Therese of Bavaria got two mummies during a tour to South America. One of the mummies was soon lost, while the other made it to the State Archaeological Collection in Munich.

Geographic and bombing moves destroyed valuable documentation of the mummy, hence a little was known about its origin, said Andreas Nerlich, a paleopathologist at Munich University and the co-author of the study.

They put the mummy on a computed tomography (CT) scanner in order to learn more about the mysterious remains. They observed that the mummy's head looked normal from outside but the skull's frontal bones were destroyed completely.

"She must have received a couple of really severe hits by a sharp object to her skull just before her death, which killed her, The skull bones that had been destroyed fell into her brain cavity, and they are still there today", Live Sciences quoted Nerlich.

The woman's body was buried shallowly, where the dry air and sand quickly sucked all the body fluids, thus arresting decomposition and mummifying her.

Whilst the mummy was recorded first in the Anatomic Institute, there is no written evidence available neither about the woman's origin nor its way to the Munich University. Since its donation, the mummy had been on exhibition for several decades in the collection.

The details of the findings have been published in the Plos One Journal.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Mummy murder mystery solved, Incan woman's head destroyed (Representational Image)
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