A mummy of a Nasca boy, which is now on display in the National Museum of Ica, Peru, has scientists wondering why he was buried in such a particular body position, leading them to determine he suffered from a disability.
“Most Peruvian mummies come bundled in cloth, with their legs folded up to their chests and their arms around their knees. But the young boy we now know only as the Nasca Boy was buried in a position he probably occupied in life: on a contoured, cushioned adobe stool, with his lower legs tucked beneath his seat”, said Ars Technica on Tuesday.
According to this website, this is so far the only burial of its kind that archaeologists have ever seen and it suggests that he lived with a disability and would have required additional care and resources.
This boy probably died around 700 AD and his remains have been researched since 1973. In that opportunity, it was found that there was tuberculosis evidence in the boy’s body, which was a disease that stalked South American populations long before Europeans arrived.
“Archaeologist Lorna Tilley and her colleagues have taken a second look at that study in an effort to reconstruct details of the child’s experience with his illness and disability, the kind of care he probably received, and what that reveals about the culture in which he lived”, explained Ars Technica.
An autopsy revealed that the child probably suffered from Pott’s Disease, which leads to a tuberculosis infection in the spinal cord. This is why “Allison and his colleagues suggested that the child’s ordeal began as a mild respiratory infection when the boy was a year or two old”, the aforementioned media said.