The first proof of deliberate mummification, exposed on the territory of the British Isles, very astonished the researchers. DNA analysis of the remains showed that the skeletons of men and women were “designed” from parts of dissimilar people.
Mummy of three children, a young girl, forty women and men were found 10 years ago in Scotland, at a place called Treasure-Hallan, the proposed settlement of the Bronze Age.
Approximate age of the remains, which was established by radiocarbon analysis, is about 3,000 years.
The discovery is of particular importance, since earlier in the UK found no evidence of deliberate mummification of bodies. (Known to mankind mummies were not always created by people, sometimes good preservation of a body due to natural conditions, in which he remained until today.)
The treasure-Hallanskie mummy was originally called a lot of debate among scientists and hypotheses about the causes and manner of mummification of corpses.
However, later analysis revealed a small degree of bone demineralization of the latter, which could be caused by placing the bodies in an acidic environment, such as peat bog.
The information contained in this pond water is a highly acidic environment with low oxygen content. Such conditions are well suited for the preservation of soft tissues, however, destroy the bone.
History tells us quite a lot of finds mummified remains found in bogs, however, tend to mummification in these cases occurred by chance.
Analyzing the level of demineralization, the experts found that found in the hoard-Haldane bodies were placed in a swamp about a year and then recovered and buried.
Further more thorough study of mummies has led experts to a new surprising discovery: it was found that the bones of men and women collected from the skeletons of different people.
DNA analysis, scientists decided to conduct after one of the researchers discovered that the jawbone is not proportionate to the female skeleton skull.
For example, DNA analysis jawbone, skull, hands and legs of the woman revealed that these body parts belong to different people who were not with each other close relatives.
In this case, if the skeleton of a woman consists of bones, belonging to about the same time period, the difference in age of the male bones of the skeleton of a few hundred years.
Experts compared the find to the Chiropractor mummies culture. These mummies are the oldest, the precise cause of mummification in this case is also not known.
The study authors suggest that the bodies were mummified to create an image of a symbolic ancestor, which combines representatives of various sorts.
“The cause of mummification was to preserve not individuals, but something more valuable – symbolized the unity of the Mummy” – says Professor Terry Brown (Terry Brown) from the University of Manchester.
Brown is also confident that with time you may find that many other scientists discovered the remains of ancient people are composite. Indeed, in research, archaeologists often analyze genetic material from only one part of the skeleton, not to destroy the find.