Mummified Child Sacrifice by
Working under a tight deadline, scientists extract samples that will help describe their young mummy's life.
Llullaillaco is a stratovolcano at the border of Argentina (Salta Province) and Chile. It has been confirmed that Incas climbed Llullaillaco in the pre-Columbian period.
In 1999 on Llullaillaco's summit, an Argentine-Peruvian expedition co-directed by Johan Reinhard and Argentine archaeologist Constanza Ceruti found the perfectly preserved bodies of three Inca children
(The Maiden, the Boy, and the Lightning Girl), sacrificed approximately 500 years earlier.
Llullaillaco: The Maiden
This mummy was found wearing a magnificent headdress, which meant she was probably an aclla or Sun Virgin. That is, she was chosen and sanctified as a toddler to live with other girls and women who would become royal wives, priestesses, and sacrifices. She also wore a brown dress, and was buried with several statues. Her hair was braided elaborately and she had a few white hairs, perhaps indicating emotional stress. She and the others are believed to have been drugged with chicha, a maize beer, along with coca leaves, before being abandoned on the mountain.