The forensic scientist Philippe Charlier explained that in the first analysis of the remains of the Guano Mummy was detected deformations in fingers and toes, typical of rheumatoid polyarthritis, a disease that presumably began in the Americas.
This could be the oldest case discovered with this disease, so this mummy can be the “missing link that allows us to better understand the origin and the natural history of this disease”, which arrived in Europe through the conquerors, indicated Charlier to the agency Efe.
María Patricia Ordóñez, professor of the USFQ, informed EL TELÉGRAFO that on the night of Tuesday, January 22, tomographies were taken as the first diagnostic level of the remains of the mummy. The segmentation of the 3D structures of the skull, neck, thorax, abdomen and legs, all under the supervision of Charlier.
The expert indicated that this procedure allows the analysis of the diseases that the individual may have suffered. The shots allow to see in the skeleton and in the soft tissue if those diseases could have caused his death. He added that with these first images “it is possible to reconstruct, both the external and internal part of the individual and from there elaborate 3D models with which you can confirm diagnoses”.
#Quito | En la unidad de Tomografía y Ecografía, el equipo del SIME de la @USFQ_Ecuador realizó la segmentación de las estructuras en 3D de la #MomiaDeGuano Cráneo, cuello, tórax, abdomen y miembros inferiores, piernas. Bajo la coordinación de Philippe Charlier junto @INPCEcuador pic.twitter.com/1r1O6nfUM4— INPC Ecuador (@INPCEcuador) 30 de enero de 2019
The mummy is extended in the dorsal ulna (face up), with the head semi-inclined forward, with arms crossed and you can even see part of the mummified skin and exposed bones, especially the legs. With the scanner they discovered that it conserves the brain, dry on one side, the heart, part of the lung, the kidneys, the prostate.
The study was carried out with the support of the technical team of the National Institute of Cultural Heritage (INPC). On Sunday, January 27, the remains were taken to the city of Quito from the Museum of Guano (Chimborazo), where he rested.
On Tuesday 29, the transfer was made from the INPC facilities to the USFQ Medical Center. In a conversation, Charlier said that, after the first analysis, he concluded that the person to whom these human remains belong died due to a massive oral infection that spread to the skin, blood and brain.
In a second phase of the study, samples of hair will be taken for a toxicological and eventually genetic analysis; as well as binocular examinations of skin and hair.
The mummy was discovered in 1949 while removing the debris caused by the Ambato earthquake. Next to her they found a small rat with a long tail, which was naturally mummified, and they will also study it to determine the diseases that it could transport helped by the fleas.
Aquí para ustedes 15 segundos de la estructura ósea en 3D de la #MomiaDeGuano, que da cuenta del uso de la tecnología médica para un análisis forense inédito en #Ecuador, y que es posible a través de la cooperación de Philippe Charlier 🇨🇵, @AFquito @USFQ_Ecuador e @INPCEcuador pic.twitter.com/kBQbd5MmXo— INPC Ecuador (@INPCEcuador) 30 de enero de 2019
It is believed that the remains correspond to the Spanish Franciscan Fray Lázaro de Santofimia (16th century), found in the old convent of La Asunción. “After his death at age 55 or 60, he was buried inside the walls of the church, remains that were mummified by natural processes, in what was probably a local tradition, which allowed Fray Lázaro to take care of his church after his death, “says a study conducted by the INPC.
#LaNuitDesIdées#LaNocheDeLasIdeas#PhilippeCharlier ”varias son las causas cuando alguien muere, una causa lleva a la otra; la #MomiaDeGuano tenía gran infección en la boca y una artrosis degenerativa”— Alianza Francesa (@AFquito) 30 de enero de 2019
But in the discussion, Charlier pointed out that there is nothing that determines that he was a fray, since his dress says otherwise. “The clothes used by the religious, in the Colony, were thick, like a jute, while the mummy dress has buttons and the cloth is delicate.”
#Quito | Dentro de un estricto protocolo de seguridad para garantizar las mejores condiciones de conservación de este bien patrimonial, se inició la 2da fase del análisis forense de la #MomiaDeGuano por parte del equipo de @INPCEcuador @USFQ_Ecuador y Philippe Charlier 🇨🇵 pic.twitter.com/PxLTBPmnYs— INPC Ecuador (@INPCEcuador) 30 de enero de 2019
However, this will be confirmed with a DNA test in the forensic medicine laboratories of Ecuador, and studies based on carbon 14, to establish the date of death, which will be made to samples that will be taken to France.
The results of the two exams will be ready in the next six months. “The dead are an open book to understand the living, and the dead are ambassadors of history,” said the French expert.
The expert Philippe Charlier – who arrived in Ecuador thanks to the support of the French Alliance – is director of research and study of the Quai Branly Museum (Paris). Specializing in the analysis of ancient human remains and mummies, he has participated in research projects of the remains of Adolf Hitler, in Moscow, as well as studies of the remains of Joan of Arc and the reconstitution of the face of Maximilien Robespierre, among others.
As part of his visit, a technical cooperation agreement was announced between the Quai Branly Museum, the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and the INPC, for a series of investigations in the country, since Charlier’s interest is to study several mummies from the American continent. (I)
En Quito, en el Instituto Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural se realiza un estudio completo de la Momia de Guano, a cargo del científico francés Philippe Charlier (@doctroptard).— Pública FM (@PublicaFM) 30 de enero de 2019
Vía @SantyTello pic.twitter.com/NZBbG8meT1