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They discover the cause of death of one of the most mysterious mummies


Studies of the best preserved mummy in Switzerland, from the 18th century and which was the daughter of a preacher in life, determined the cause of her death.

Studies of the

best preserved mummy in Switzerland

, from the 18th century and which was the daughter of a preacher in life, have determined that the woman died from an

atypical bacterial infection

similar to that which causes leprosy or tuberculosis.

a portrait of Anna Catharina Bischof.

The team of Italian scientists who have been investigating the mummified body of Anna Catharina Bischof since April have been able to determine that a microbacterium affected her brain tissue, causing her death.

Discovered in 1975 in the Barfüsserkirche church in Basel, this 18th century mummy was able to be preserved thanks to an

extraordinary presence of mercury

in its body.

The mysteries of the mummy

The doctors of the time used this element to treat

patients with syphilis.

Until now, investigations into the Basel mummy

had determined that this disease

had been the cause of Bischof's death.

One of the mummy's hands in a perfect state of preservation thanks to the extraordinary presence of mercury in its body.

However, new findings published in the journal

BMC Biology

confirm that although the woman most certainly suffered from syphilis and was treated with mercury, this was not the cause of her death.

The clothes in which the woman was dressed at the time of death.

What is clear is that the exceptional degree of preservation of the body has allowed the Bischof family tree to be traced, which includes, among other descendants, the former British Prime Minister

Boris Johnson.

However, the mysteries surrounding the Basel mummy remain many, from the

strange position of its arms

in which it was buried to the identity of the skeletons found in coffins around it.

EFE Agency.

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Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-02-08

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