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Three-fingered Peruvian mummies unearthed in tomb last year 'have different anatomy to humans', Russian scientists claim

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 13/03/2018 Sophie Williams

a close up of food © Provided by Independent Print Limited Russian researchers studying a three-fingered mummy found in a Peruvian tomb claim that the figure is not human.

The researchers from St Petersburg say that Maria, a 5th century mummy, has a different anatomical structure to humans.

Maria was just one of six mummies found inside the tomb in Nazca, a city in southern Peru. A nine-month-old child named Vavita and four male mummies were also discovered.

Professor Konstantin Korotkov from the Russian National Research University told Sputnik news agency: "Each of the mummies has two arms, two legs, a head, a pair of eyes and a mouth.

"The tissue has biological nature and their chemical composition indicated that they are humans. Their DNA features 23 pairs of chromosomes, just like we have. All the four of them are males, each with a Y-chromosome. They appear human but they are not. Their anatomic structure is different."

The scientists claim that Maria's rib structure is an unusual rounded shape with some bones that are semicircular. Her head also elongates at the back.

Dr Korotkov said: "Maria and Vavita could have been representatives of a certain race which had possibly reached a stage of advancement much earlier than we did. Maybe thousands of years earlier."

mummygaia1303b.jpg © Provided by Independent Print Limited mummygaia1303b.jpg He has also claimed that the figures could have been from an extra-terrestrial background which has raised criticism from other researchers in the field.

The World Congress on Mummy Studies has described the find as a fraud, labelling it as "an irresponsible organised campaign of disinformation."

Research on the mummies will continue with the team requesting permission to bring them to Russia for further testing.

In 2008 Dr Korotkov was widely criticised when he claimed to have created a camera that could photograph the human soul.

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