The Inca Empire is one of the most recognized civilizations in the world, but little did we know that apart from excelling in the fields of arts, math, science and medicine, they gave huge importance to superstitions and false beliefs, as well.
The girl in this picture would look a normal human-being to you treated by doctors, but in reality she is dead. She is an Incan mummy that was kept frozen for 500 years. “Maiden”, the 15 year old girl was so well-preserved in ice that scientists couldn’t discern whether she had died 500 years ago or just few weeks before.
Reinhard, a National Geographic Society explorer and investigator for Mountain Institute had studied a lot on the Inca culture and traditions. He suspected that they would find human bodies and remains atop the volcano.
The 500 year old maiden girl was pulled from the slopes of Llullaillaco volcano in 1999, she was under observation, until recently, when she was revealed and exhibited to the world. Her body was found by a team of archaeologists who unearthed her, struggled through blizzards and 70 mph winds, and reach the peak 22,000ft above sea level.
The maiden Inca mummy was spotted in a rectangular confined area, covered with rocks and soil. Her body was accompanied by huge collection of gold, silver, pots containing dried food and shell statues. She had adorned an extravagant headdress prepared from white feathers. Her head was drooped forward and her arms rested loosely on her laps.
Unlike the Egyptian mummies, she was not mummified, but was simply kept in a natural deep-freeze for 500 years.
Why They Were Mummified?
She was killed by the Incas, as they thought sacrificing beautiful children would please the Gods. It was believed that it were the children who can appease the Gods, as they were considered pure. This ritual was thought to bring them closer to the heavens. This ceremony was called a ‘capacocha’.
Scientists had also discovered that the maiden’s consumption of coca and alcohol had gone up sharply 12 months before she was sacrificed, she was actually fed all the food such as maize and animal protein that was then considered the food of the elites in Incas. The Incan priests got them drunk and buried her before offering to the Gods. Her DNA analysis showed the presence of a chronic respiratory infection, which could be due to high intake of coca and alcohol.
The girl had a sore on her leg, which probably meant she was beaten and then buried alive. She was left in extreme cold from which she would have died by exposure. She is now preserved in a museum of Argentina.
The place of sacrifice: The burial site on top of Llullaillaco Volcano