Surprise! The world’s oldest mummies are not in Egypt

The first humans known to have mummified their dead did so in a rather improbable spot: the driest place on Earth. The Chinchorro people settled in coastal bays of the Atacama Desert, in what is present-day Chile, around 7,000 BC and developed a technique for mummification around 5,000 BC. That’s roughly 2,000 years before the ancient Egyptians. Yet, while the Egyptians were a complex civilization mummifying elite pharaohs, the Chinchorro were pre-ceramic hunter-gatherers with a more egalitarian approach to honoring the dead… (continue reading at CNN).
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