Mummy

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.

“Chilling” Child Sacrifices Found at Prehistoric Site

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 23, 2010   View Article

The skeletons of dozens of children killed as part of a ritual bloodletting sacrifice a thousand years ago have been discovered in northern Peru, a new study says.

The remains are the earliest evidence of ritualized blood sacrifice and mutilation of children that has so far been seen in the South American Andes, according to study leader Haagen Klaus.

Seeds of a paralytic and hallucinogenic plant called Nectandra, which also prevents blood clotting, were found with the skeletons, suggesting the children were drugged before their throats were slit and their chests cut open.

Photos: Mummy Bundles, Child Sacrifices Found on Pyramid

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 25, 2010   View Article

A rare undisturbed tomb atop an ancient pyramid in Lima, Peru, has yielded four 1,150-year-old, well-bundled mummies of the Wari culture, archaeologists announced on October 20.

The mummies include what appear to be an elite woman and three children, who may have been sacrificed to accompany her into the afterlife, according to Isabel Flores Espinosa, excavation director at the Huaca Pucllana archaeological site.

The Wari civilization spread along the central coast of Peru beginning around A.D. 700. At Huaca Pucllana, they replaced the Lima culture before being replaced themselves by the ascendant Inca.

Seven amazing finds from America’s past

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: April 14, 2009   View Article

Learn about seven archaeological finds from early U.S. history, including artifacts from Jamestown, the bones of lost Irish immigrants, and a pre-Civil War mummy.

Eight great real-life mummies

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: July 24, 2008   View Article

Real-life mummies have fascinated the public for decades — often with their own horrific tales. Learn about eight of their stories.

Rare Mummy Found With Strange Artifacts, Tattoo in Peru

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 17, 2008   View Article

Disemboweled and decorated with scarlet paint, metal eye plates, and a tattoo, an exquisitely preserved, thousand-year-old mummy has been discovered in Peru.

As anthropologists gingerly removed the layers of ancient textiles swaddling the thirtysomething elite male last month at a Lima lab, offerings both strange and familiar came to light—slingshots, corn, a figurine in identical dress.

Mummies With Lice Offer New Clues to Human Migration

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 8, 2008   View Article

A common type of head lice picked from thousand-year-old Peruvian mummies suggests the pesky parasitic insects accompanied modern humans on their first migration out of Africa, according to a new study.

Researchers had thought Europeans brought the widespread louse species to the Americas about 500 years ago, said David Reed, who studies the parasites at the University of Florida’s Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach