Inca Child Sacrifice: Secrets of the Mummified Maiden (Video)
The ancient practice of human sacrifice is one of the most haunting and mysterious aspects of human history. Most of us today find the idea abhorrent, but in many cultures around the world, they believed this was a necessary act to appease the gods. One such example is the story of a mummified child sacrificed by the Incas on the summit of a volcano in South America, now studied by scientists in order to unlock the secrets of this ancient practice.
The 500-year-old mummy, known as La Doncella (the maiden), has fascinated researchers for years with her elaborate braided hair and enigmatic expression. Using advanced scientific techniques, they have uncovered evidence of a countdown to her sacrifice that began months before her death, shedding light on the beliefs and rituals of this complex and fascinating culture.
- Blood for the Gods: 10 Cultures that Engaged in Ritual Sacrifice
- Mummies of Six Sacrificed Children Found at 1,000-Year-Old Peru Site
Top image: This sacrificed Inca child, known as the Llull Maiden #23, was found on a mountain in Argentina. Source: © Johan Reinhard, Ph.D. (used with permission)