Histopathological Study of a Mummified Eye and Optic Nerve from a Strangled Peruvian Mummy

Jordi Esteban, Sandra Cases-Merida, Montserrat Tortosa, Berta Marzal, Arabel Fernandez, Cesar Galvez, Regulo Franco, Pedro Luis Fernandez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


We present the histopathological findings of a naturally mummified eye from the Peruvian Lambayeque culture (900-1,200 AD), in which rehydration, light microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy allowed a detailed analysis of several eye tissues including the eyelids, sclera, and optic nerve, the latter showing evidence of hemorrhage likely related to the documented strangulation as the cause of death. We conclude that histopathological analysis of rehydrated mummified tissues can provide valuable information from fragile eye structures including the optic nerve, and these findings can be useful from a forensic point of view. (C) 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-93
Number of pages4
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Paleopathology
  • Mummy
  • Eye
  • Optic nerve hemorrhage
  • Strangulation
  • DNA


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