Κυριακή, 19 Ιουνίου 2011

Mummies in Guanajuato (Mexico)

The Mummies of Guanajuato, Mexico, are a number of naturally mummified bodies interred during a cholera outbreak around Guanajuato, Mexico in 1833. These mummies were discovered in a cemetery located in Guanajuato, which has made the city one of the biggest tourist attractions in Mexico. All of these mummies were disinterred between 1865 and 1958, when the law required relatives to pay a tax in order to keep the bodies in the cemetery. If the relatives could not pay this tax, they would lose the right to the burial place, and the dead bodies were disinterred. Ninety percent of the bodies in the cemetery were disinterred because their relatives did not pay the tax. However, only 2% of them were naturally mummified.

The mummified bodies were stored in a building and in the 1900s the mummies began attracting tourists. Cemetery workers began charging people a few pesos to enter the building where bones and mummies were stored. This place was turned into a museum called El Museo De Las Momias, The Mummies’ Museum. A law prohibiting the disinterring of more mummies was passed in 1958, but this museum still exhibits the original mummies. Due to the deadliness of the epidemic, more cemeteries had to be opened in San Cayetano as well as Cañada de Marfil. Many of the bodies were buried immediately to control the spread of the disease; in some cases, the dying were buried alive by accident. As a result, some of the mummies have horrific expressions attesting to their death in the tombs, though most expressions became fixed postmortem. One of the mummies who was buried alive was Ignacia Aguilar. She suffered from a strange sickness that made her heart appear to stop for one day on several occasions. During one of these incidents, her heart appeared to stop for more than the usual time. Thinking she had died, her relatives decided to bury her. When her body was disinterred, it was noticed that she was facing down, biting her arm, and that there was a lot of blood in her mouth. (wikipedia)












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