Interesting article about a frozen Incan mummy

National Geographic has a pretty cool article about the almost perfectly preserved bodies of 3 Incan children sacrificed on a mountain top 500+ years ago.

Because they were sacrificed at such high altitude, the cold and thin air has kept their bodies remarkably preserved.

From the article:

  • The mummy, called La Doncella or The Maiden, is that of a teenage girl who died more than 500 years ago in a ritual sacrifice in the Andes Mountains.
  • The girl and two other children were left on a mountaintop to succumb to the cold as offerings to the gods.
  • The excavation of the mummies at the mountain’s peak was the world’s highest archaeological dig.
  • La Doncella was found dressed in a ceremonial tunic and adorned with a headpiece, tokens of her new status as a messenger to the heavens.
  • The girl had also drunk corn liquor, likely to put her to sleep, scientists say, and her mouth still held fragments of coca leaves, which the Inca chewed to lessen the effects of altitude sickness.
  • “[They] weren’t being sacrificed to feed the gods,” Reinhard told National Geographic News in 2005. “They were being sacrificed to enter into the realm of the gods. It was considered a great honor.

This is a pic of the mountain on which these mummies were found. Looks absolutely beautiful out there.