Native American Children: Incan Sacrificial Victims (about 1500 AD)

Figure 1.--Here is one of the sacrificed children found upon Mount Llullaillaco. The children will be displayed in a special gas chamber at the Museum of High Altitude Archeology in Salta Argentina.

We know very little about individual Native American until the European conquests of the 16th century. Some of the very dew Native American children we know something about are the amazingly well preserved remains of a few children found in the High Andes during 2004. These children are sacrificial victims found within the Inca Empire and appear to date from the approximate time of the European conquest. The facial features of these children and their vividly preserved clothing have been found intact. The children have been found within the Incan Empire. We do not know, however, if ethnically they are Incan children or children of captive tribes. Three children (two girls and one boy) were age 6-15 years. They were found atop Mount Llullaillaco along the Chilean Argentine border in northern Argentina. Some anthropolgists believe they may have come from the Chilean side of the border. They would have been transported to the mountain in some kind of religious procession. There is no evidence that they were killed violently, but appear to have been left to die by exposure in the bitter cold of the High Andes. The children were not mumified, but are preserved becaise of the cold and low-oxygen of high altitudes. They were left on a funery platform, a gift to the Inca mountain god. This was the second find of sacrificed children. The first find was a child found in Peru in 1996 and now know as Juanita the ice maiden.


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Created: 7:50 AM 9/21/2005
Last updated: 7:50 AM 9/21/2005