Descansaban, olvidadas y anónimas, en el suelo de una tumba utilizada como almacén –la cachette–, en Luxor. Eran 18 momias y hoy los egiptólogos las han bautizado como Princesa Blava, Indiscreta o Pulseras. No se sabe con certeza cuándo ni cómo llegaron hasta allí. Algunos de sus secretos, como su identidad, siguen ocultos, pero otros, como las enfermedades que sufrieron o que fueron 12 mujeres y 6 hombres, probablemente de origen noble, que vivieron en el Tercer Periodo Intermedio (1069-525 a.C.), acaban de salir a la luz. Es gracias a los estudios antropológicos y radiológicos realizados por el equipo del Proyecto Monthemhat, misión arqueológica que trabaja en la tumba de este importante gobernador egipcio del siglo VII a.C., dirigida por el alemán de origen egipcio Farouk Gomaà y en la que participan miembros del Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya (MAC).
Rough summary of some of the main details: 18 mummies from the Third Intermediate Period from the Luxor Cachette have been studied with a view to learning details about their lives. 12 women and 6 men, probably of noble birth, have been analysed by the Monthemhat Project. The results were presented at a conference which preceded the opening of a photographic exhibition, Projecte Monthemhat. Les mòmies oblidades. As well as the photos of the mummies, the exhibition has a recreation of the cachette, features an audiovisual explanation of the process mummification, and has both replicas of the New Kingdom surgical instruments and original pieces, like a glass of holy oil and several amulets. Among the study's findings, which have surprised some of the researchers is the lack of disease, fractures and dental infections, apart from some dental decay. They found no infections or tumors, both of which were common causes of death at the time. One traumas is a case of Dupuytren's contraction. There is very little sign of arthritis, perhaps because most of the 18 died young and, as they were of the nobility, were carrying out tasks which were physically undemanding. Another surprise was that only two mummies had had the brain removed through the nose and just one had had the abdominal organs removed. The exhibition is open until 5th September at the Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain.I have a close friend who has Dupuytren's in both hands and it's no picnic.