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Introduction: The practice of artificial mummification of human corpses in America was common to most Andean pre-Hispanic societies to which the Muiscas belonged.
Objective: bio-anthropologically and paleopathologically characterize the SO10-IX mummy.
Materials and methods: Case and field history graphic study with invasive and non-invasive techniques.
Results: Pre-Hispanic individual from the 14th century, male, 25 to 30 years of age. Macroscopic dental and osseous characteristics suggest it fitting the American Indian pattern. Evident absence of lower left member and right thigh, and the vertebral column reveals marked angular kyphosis, a pre-vertebral abscess in spindle shape, a lesion of vertebrate bodies T7 and T8, compatible with tuberculous spondylitis known as Pott’s disease. Also noted is the good state of the dentoalveolar complex.
Conclusions: For the first time, there is evidence of tuberculosis, in pre-Hispanic times, in a Muisca mummy from the Andean plateau (high plains). Due to the multidisciplinary approach, the historical, geographic, paleopathologic, bio-anthropologic, cultural, and chronological contexts of the mummy were reconstructed, granting importance to this national heritage asset. Two facial reconstruction studies are proposed, preservation and manipulation, and a genetic analysis to confirm the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA. The ritual position of mummification caused difficulties in the study and measurement techniques.
Martínez, A. F., Meléndez, B. F., & Manrique, F. G. (2010). Bio-anthropology and paleopathology of the SO10-IX muisca mummy from Sátivanorte, Boyacá, Colombia. Colombia Medica, 41(2), 112–120. Retrieved from


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