X-rays on a Peruvian mummy in Pennsylvania reveal “fascinating” 2000 year old secrets

connectVideoMystery resolved: the 3,000-year-old tattooed mama is a woman

Researchers from the Pennsylvania museum hopes to bring “life” to a more than 2000-year-old Peruvian mummy that is locked up in storage for a year.

In order to discover hidden secrets about the mummy, which was donated to the Everhart Museum in Scranton, about a century ago, museum officials decided to turn to modern technology. They traveled across the street to Geisinger Community Medical Center, where doctors performed tests, including X-rays — the non-identified man.

“There is very little known about the mummy, although it was identified as belonging to the Paracas culture, one of the oldest cultures of South America dating back to 800 – 100 B. C.,” the Everhart Museum told Fox News in a statement Wednesday. “The mummy was last seen in the 1990s.”


Local dentist Dr. G. E. Hill gave the monster, which he had previously received from his father, who temporarily lived in Peru, to the museum, so they could research further. Decades later, Everhart plans to the old image on the display — but first, they want to be able to inform the public about the mama’s mysterious past.

Geisinger Community Medical Center professionals recently took the X-rays of the centuries-old Peruvian mummy.
(Courtesy Everhart Museum)

“GCMC offered, to make use of the technology to help answer some of these unknowns. Because of the fragile mummy is in the fetal position and is packaged in a sealed case, Geisinger experts could not use CT-scan technology. However, the X-ray method worked,” the museum explained.

Geisinger Radiology Medical Director Dr. Scott Sauerwine admitted was the “first mummy” that he had ever met. But he was the challenge.

“I think we have a number of interesting observations and helped to answer a number of the museum questions,” he said in a statement to Fox News.


“Mummies have long been fascinating.”

— Aurore Giguet

So far, that they are able to discover the mother’s height, age and potential health problems.

According to the Everhart Museum, the mummy is probably a male teenager, and is 5 meters long with an average length for a Peruvian in that era. He is covered with multiple layers of fabric, with a decorated textile wrapped around his knee.

Dr. Sauerwine, Scott examines X-rays of the Peruvian mama.
(Courtesy Everhart Museum)

“He had no broken bones, but abnormal calcifications in the back indicate a metabolic disease,” the researchers observed in a summary of their findings. “The tips of his toes missing, what can be the result of excessive treatment of the body after mummification. Alternatively it may have been amputated as a result of infection or frostbite.”

While there is still a lot more to discover about the mummy, researchers agreed this was a successful start.

“Mummies have long been fascinating,” Aurore Giguet, executive director of the Everhart Museum, said in a statement. “The peruvian mummification traditions began seven thousand years ago, which is much earlier than in Egypt, and lasted until the Spanish conquest of 500 years ago.”

The mummy will be featured at the Everhart Museum for a short period of time — from now until 7 April, as part of its “Preserved: the Traditions of the Andes” exhibit.

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