TechMummified 13th century woman found in Bolivia met a fate eerily similar to "The Last of Us" game characters

Mummified 13th century woman found in Bolivia met a fate eerily similar to "The Last of Us" game characters

"Mysterious death of the mummified woman"
"Mysterious death of the mummified woman"
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4:29 PM EST, January 16, 2024

The mummy, subjected to new examinations, conceals the body of a woman from the 13th century aged between 25 and 35. However, this is not a new discovery. It was found in a Bolivian cave in 1897 and has been studied numerous times.

Infection similar to "The Last of Us"

The outcomes of the latest radiological tests are remarkably sensational. They suggest that the mummified woman met a fate similar to the characters in "The Last of Us". According to scientists, her body bears the scars of the secondary phase of coccidioidomycosis.

This disease is commonly called Valley Fever and is triggered by inhaling spores of a fungus from the Coccidiodes species. This invites parallels with the storyline of the popular game and series, but only at the stage of infection with a pathogen.

The typical progression of Valley Fever is similar to the symptoms of pneumonia, which resolve on their own. Still, it does not imply that it can be treated without medical intervention.

Dangerous Valley Fever

However, there are unique cases where the disease takes a disseminated form. The infection then spreads to other systems within the human body, potentially lethal the pathogen.

Such was the situation with the mummified woman. Scientists affirm that her skeletal state is ample evidence. Her skull and spine reveal clear signs of a fungal infection. This corresponds to a few documented cases where the disseminated form of Valley Fever attacked the skeletal system, causing similar damage.

The reveal about the mummy

This discovery is sensational for archaeologists. Until now, skeletal defects in the Bolivian mummy were attributed to tuberculosis – a disease prevalent in the Andes during the 13th century and capable of causing similar alterations.

The latest research shows that the woman's death emanated from a disease, the traces of which were unanticipated in her time and location. This sheds fresh light on our understanding of that civilization.

Non-contagious Valley Fever was historically considered a disease that affected males primarily. The infected person had to have direct contact with the pathogen, often from outdoor physical labor.

The detection of Valley Fever in a female body implies that she must have engaged in activities that exposed her to spore-laden dust. This suggests that the gender division of labor in ancient Andean societies may have been different from our expectations.

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