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El cambio climático estaría afectando a momias en Chile.

Una reciente degradación de las famosas momias chilenas del Chinchorro, las más antiguas del mundo, podría deberse al cambio climático.

El cambio climático habría provocado que aumenten los niveles de humedad en la región, según un estudio divulgado hoy por investigadores de la Universidad de Harvard.

«En los últimos diez años, el proceso se ha acelerado», declaró Marcela Sepúlveda, profesora de Arqueología y Antropología de la Universidad de Tarapacá en Arica (Chile) a la revista científica «Harvard Gazette».

Esta degradación afectó a cerca de 120 momias que se conservan en el Museo Arqueológico de Tarapacá, un tesoro antropológico, ya que datan de hace más de 7 mil años, dos mil antes de que las egipcios inicien con momificación a sus grandes faraones.

Para dilucidar las causas de esta desintegración, los investigadores chilenos consultaron con el equipo de Ralph Mitchell, catedrático emérito de Biología Aplicada de la Escuela de Ingeniería y Ciencias Aplicadas de Harvard y expertos en momificaciones.

«Sabíamos que las momias se estaban degradando pero nadie sabía por qué», explicó Mitchell.

El equipo del doctor estadounidense se centró en analizar la «microflora«, las bacterias, de los cuerpos de las momias.

Tras los exámenes, descubrió que el causante de la degradación no era una bacteria procedente de los organismos antiguos, sino que se trataba de una bacteria ordinaria que habita en la piel de los seres vivos.

Sepúlveda había apuntado que los niveles de humedad en Arica, cerca del desierto de Atacama y uno de los lugares más áridos del planeta, habían aumentado en las últimas décadas como consecuencia del cambio climático.

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