Inca Children Were High During Sacrifice

A trio of mummified Inca children found in a shrine near the peak of a 6,739 m high Argentinian volcano were found to have consumed vast quantities of corn alcohol and coca (the plant from which cocaine is derived) for an entire year before they were sacrificed. The 13 year old girl (shown below), referred to as the “Ice Maiden”, was likely kept sedated in an attempt to keep her compliant in the death ritual. It was possible to deduce this from a biochemical analysis of what substances were circulating in her blood as new hair cells formed.

These mummies are 500 years old and are the most well preserved samples that have ever been discovered – this is due to the frigid conditions of the high altitude tomb in which they were discovered back in 1999.



The Ice Maiden’s body was discovered cross-legged and slumped forwards, as if she was sleeping at the time of her death. A large wad of chewed coca leaves were found inside her mouth. Andre Wilson of the University of Bradford, U.K, who leads the team investigating the mystery of the Ice Maiden pointed out that scans of her body suggested that she died on a full stomach and had not recently defecated. “To my mind, that suggests she was not in a state of distress at the point at which she died,” Wilson told Livescience.

Many more mysteries are held within these mummified childrens’ tissues – only time will reveal what they are…