Momias de Guanajuato

In the Mexican town of Guanajuato during the years 1896 and 1958 a taxation was imposed on burials, of 20 pesos annually, or 170 pesos for permanent burial. Many families could not afford this fee, thus large numbers of corpses were exhumed, presumably destined for an ossuary. But the qualities of the arid air perhaps interacting with soil conditions yielded a peculiar phenomenon, the desiccation instead of decomposition of the bodies.

After 1958 bodies were no longer exhumed, and some of those were placed on public display as a memento mori cum tourist trap, atop Trozado Hill. One can now pay respects by purchasing a horribly tacky souvenir.

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