Inca

Inca child sacrifices were drunk, stoned for weeks before death

Publication: NBC News   Date: July 29, 2013   View Article

Three Inca children found mummified atop a 20,000-foot volcano in South America consumed increasing amounts of coca leaf and corn beer for up to a year before they were sacrificed, according to a new study.

Sedation by the plant and alcohol combined with the frigid, high-altitude setting may explain how the children were killed. There is no evidence for direct violence, the researchers noted.

The coca leaf and corn beer consumption rises about six months before death and then skyrockets in the final weeks, especially for the eldest, a 13-year-old girl known as the “Ice Maiden.”

“She was probably heavily sedated by the point at which she succumbs to death,” Andrew Wilson, an archaeologist at the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom and the study’s lead author, told NBC News.

Mysterious Mass Sacrifice Found Near Ancient Peru Pyramid

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 28, 2011   View Article

An apparent ritual mass sacrifice—including decapitations and a royal beer bash—is coming to light near a pre-Inca pyramid in northern Peru, archaeologists say.

Excavations next to the ancient Huaca Las Ventanas pyramid first uncovered bodies in August, and more have been emerging since then from a 50-by-50-foot (15-by-15-meter) pit.

The pyramid is part of the Sicán site, the capital of the Lambayeque people—also known as the Sicán—who ruled Peru’s northern coast from about A.D. 900 to 1100.

Inca Empire built on corn … and poop

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: May 23, 2011   View Article

The seeds of the Inca Empire were planted about 2,700 years ago when a warm spell combined with piles of llama excrement allowed maize agriculture to take root high up in the South American Andes, according to a new study.

“They were constructing fields and weeding them. And probably trading took off, made possible by llama caravans transporting goods, such as maize, coca leaves, salt and a ceremonial product called cinnabar,” Alex Chepstow-Lusty of the French Institute of Andean Studies in Lima told me Sunday in an email.

The finding is inferred by a record of pollen and mites in a core of mud taken from a small lake located at about 11,000 feet up in the Andes surrounded by agricultural terraces and next to an ancient trading route that connected tropical forest and mountain communities.

Restoration Afoot for Ancient Inca Trails

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 17, 2004   View Article

Each day up to 2,000 tourists flood the ancient Inca mountaintop city of Machu Picchu in southern Peru. They come to marvel at temples built from perfectly chiseled blocks of granite and pay homage to the sun.

Most of the tourists travel by train from nearby Cusco. Others ride the bus. A few hundred heartier souls arrive on foot after a four-day slog along the famed Inca Trail.

Dozens of Inca Mummies Discovered Buried in Peru

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 11, 2004   View Article

Dozens of exquisitely preserved Inca mummies are being recovered from a barren hillside on the outskirts of Peru’s bustling capital city, Lima. In a matter of months a highway will roar past the ancient cemetery.

“By now we have over 40 [mummy bundles] and the number increases every day,” said Guillermo Cock, a Lima-based archaeologist.

Machu Picchu Under Threat From Pressures of Tourism

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 15, 2002   View Article

In 1911, an innkeeper from the Peruvian town of Aguas Calientes led Hiram Bingham on a scramble up a steep, jungle-tangled embankment to the extensive ruins of an Inca settlement that was named Machu Picchu for the neighboring mountain.

Bingham, a professor from Yale University who was exploring in the region, later wondered in his book, Lost City of the Incas, whether anyone would believe what he had found.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach