Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Children of Llullaillaco Sacrificed with Alcohol

CNN has an article up titled Mummy of girl sacrificed by Incans prompts gasps. It details a display of a mummy of a 15 year old girl in Salta, Argentina who was killed 500 years ago in a sacrifice. The mummy is well preserved and the features on the girl are very clear. It looks almost like she just went to sleep.

The article notes, "Hundreds of people packed a museum in Salta, Argentina, to see 'la Doncella' -- Spanish for 'the Maiden' -- a 15-year-old girl whose remains were found in 1999 in an icy pit on Llullaillaco volcano, along with a 6-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy. Scientists believe the so-called Children of Llullaillaco were sacrificed more than 500 years ago in a ceremony marking the annual corn harvest. Dressed in fine clothes and given corn alcohol to put them to sleep, the victims were then left to die at an elevation of 22,080 feet."

Central and South American cultures were well known for using human sacrifice. Most of the victims did not die peaceful deaths. At least three children had an easy death passing out in the cold.

To keep the mummy preserved, the museum is pumping in chilled air through a low-oxygen atmosphere. There is a lot to preserve. Her face still shows the red pigment which was on her face. Around her mouth there are flecks of coca leaf, which is chewed by highland Indians to blunt the effects of altitude. I could not find a public domain copy of the mummy so I have not posted it here. However, it is well worth clicking through to read this article at CNN were a copy of the photo is included.

2 comments:

Shely Rose said...

Indeed we live in a diverse world in terms of everything.

I didn't consider the Incan scarifices to be wrong because I do not have the right to judge them based on my own cultural biases.

M said...

"I didn't consider the Incan scarifices to be wrong because I do not have the right to judge them based on my own cultural biases."

If that is the case, we have no right to judge southern Americans in the 18th and 19th century for owning slaves or to judge the Nazis for killing millions in the Holocaust. That is just our own culutural bias don't you know.

Being accepting of other cultures and not juding them by your own standards is noble. Accepting human sacrifice is not. It is OK to draw the line at murder.