The oldest human mummies are not from Egypt or even Chile, but Europe, new research suggests. 60 years ago, the remains of 13 people were found in the south of Portugal. Their age is set at 8,000 years. A new analysis of photographs taken in the last century has led scientists to conclude that at least some of the remains show signs of mummification.
During an excavation in the 1960s, 13 Mesolithic burials were found in the Sado River valley in southern Portugal. The photographic documentation was made at that time by the Portuguese archaeologist Manuel Farinha dos Santos, who died in 2001. In the belongings of the deceased, three rolls of photographic films were found, in which images of bodies buried in graves dating back 8,000 years were discovered. New analysis of previously unknown photos suggests that at least one of the bodies found 60 years ago has been mummified.
A description of the research on the ancient remains appeared in the "European Journal of Archeology" (DOI: 10.1017 / eaa.2022.3).