Incan Child Sacrifice
Historical Findings of Incan Sacrifice

How did the world become aware of Incan sacrifices?


History and Background | Incan Sacrifice Discoveries | The Ice Maiden | The Expedition | The Inca | The Andes | Johan Reinhard | Maps | More Info


Even before the first discoveries of Incan child sacrifices, the practice was known of by scholars through records left by the Spanish.  Early in the seventeenth century, a Spanish missionary called Father Cobo described the specifics of child sacrifice.  In detailed accounts, he wrote, "They were killed by strangulation with a cord, or by a blow with a club and then they were buried, and sometimes they got them drunk before they were killed."  However, due to the lack of actual bodies to support the writings, archaeologists dismissed them as simply ghastly tales with no merit. 


In 1954, on the peak of El Plomo mountain in the Andes, a monumental discovery was made: the remains of a seven-year-old boy, preserved through half a millenium in perfect conditions.  He had perished of extreme cold in his sleep as an Incan sacrifice, and was found decorated with jewellery and ornaments.  The boy was the first finding of Incan sacrifice ever made, and he led archaeologists to re-examine the Spaniards' chronicles once more. 
1985 brought with it the discovery of another boy sacrifice, who had died of a much more violent death.  Analyses have shown that his body was crushed by his own burial textiles, which had been pulled so tightly that they shattered his bones.  Johan Reinhard discovered Juanita ("The Ice Maiden") in 1995, and later Sarita (named after Sara Sara, the mountain she was found on).


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In 1999, two more girls and a boy were found on top of Mount Lullaillaco in the Andes.  Their organs were still intact, and blood is even still frozen in their veins!  One girl is presumed to have slept through her death, drunk on beer and numb from freezing mountain weather.  Her face is peaceful, so she may not have even known when she was buried alive.
The remains of a seven-year-old boy were discovered on Mount Aconcagua, but his face was contorted in an expression of fear.  He is presumed to have died of a blow to the head, and a crack in his skull reveals his shrunken brain.

Click here to see a short video on Incan mummies.

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