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Prehistoric Mummies Poisoned Arsenic-laced water may have killed off coastal peoples in Chile.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-16-10 05:14 PM
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Prehistoric Mummies Poisoned Arsenic-laced water may have killed off coastal peoples in Chile.
Prehistoric Mummies Poisoned Arsenic-laced water may have killed off coastal peoples in Chile.
Brian Handwerk
for National Geographic News
April 13, 2010

Poison-laced drinking water killed some of the world's oldest mummies, which are found in the harsh northern deserts of Chile, a new study says.

Arsenic, which occurs in high levels in drinking water in Chile's northern Camarones Valley (see map), the deadly element likely poisoned the coastal Chinchorro people for centuries, starting at least 7,000 years ago, mummy-hair analyses show.

"I believe ancient people were continuously exposed to arsenic by drinking contaminated water with high arsenic levels endemic to the Camarones region," said study leader Bernardo Arriaza of Chile's Universidad de Tarapac de Arica.

The Chinchorro, who wouldn't have been aware they were ingesting the tasteless and invisible toxin, may have suffered from skin, lung, bladder, and kidney cancers, among other serious effects of long-term arsenic exposure.

More:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/04/100412-... /
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sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-21-10 11:32 AM
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1. That's too bad.
All that suffering and no one probably had a clue.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-10 04:54 PM
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2. Yes, it must have been terrifying. They have quite a few mummies we've seen in magazines,
and on tv programs. Looks as if all their earlier guesses that they had been sacrifices must undergo a serious re-examination, doesn't it?

Very sad kind of discovery.
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