Inca children were left on top of volcanoes to be struck by lightning in brutal sacrifices after being snatched from their families in far-flung corners of the vast empire
- Six bodies were found on top of two mountains and showed signs of lightning
- The meat was scorched by the lightning bolts, just like the land around them
- Experts say the children are placed there to take them to a higher position
- Children were killed because they were considered purer than adults and a better sacrifice for the gods
Bodies of children from the entire Inca empire were taken from their homes to be killed and placed on the mountains to be struck by lightning, scientists claim.
The practice was meant to elevate the children to a status somewhere between mortals and that of gods.
Experts say that culture thought a shock with a billion volts of electricity from the sky was the manifestation of a deity's favoritism.
Children were selected because of their & # 39; purity & # 39; and therefore made the best sacrifices to bloodthirsty gods, scientists believe.
Having a child slaughtered in the name of religion was considered an honor and it is thought that the young were selected from far-flung areas of the vast empire.
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The remains of six child sacrifices found at the top of mountains are now stored in a cold store at Museo Sancturios Andinos and a handful are in good condition, with some of the 500-year-old cadavers being mummified (photo)
Mrs. Socha, who analyzed one of the bodies here, said: & # 39; The Incas considered the children to be pure and untouched. Their status should convince the gods to make specific decisions & # 39;
Remains of six children who were first found more than two decades ago have been re-analyzed using x-rays and other non-destructive methods to preserve their bodies.
They were found sitting on rectangular, stone platforms on the mountains of Ampato and Pitchu Pitchu in Peru.
& # 39; According to the Incas & # 39; s a person struck by lightning received great honor – a god showed interest in that person & # 39 ;, Dagmara Socha, a bioarchaeologist from the Center for Andean Studies at the University of Warsaw (CEAC) , from the Center for Andean Studies of the University of Warsaw, told PAP, a website for Science in Poland, managed by the country's Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
The remains are now kept in a cold store at Museo Sancturios Andinos and a handful are in good condition, with some of the 500-year-old cadavers being mummified.
However, some are in a much worse state, with burn marks and signs of soft tissue and clothing that are destroyed by lightning.
The areas are known as popular locations for the release of static electricity in the clouds, because part of the soil around the bodies was crystallized, which only happens under enormous pressure and temperature.
& # 39; The Inca & # 39; s considered the children pure and untouched. Their status was supposed to convince the gods to make specific decisions & # 39 ;, Socha told PAP.
Two girls were found on a platform mounted on Pichu Pichu, researchers noted intentional deformation of the skull, which was elongated. Depicted, skull of a boy with a normal skull that probably came from a different area than the girls
Remains of six children who were first found more than two decades ago have been re-analyzed using x-rays and other non-destructive methods to preserve their bodies. They were found sitting on rectangular, stone platforms on the mountains of Ampato and Pitchu Pitchu in Peru
Scientists still do not know what the key was to select children who were sacrificed, but it is believed that they were gathered from all corners of the empire to unite regions.
& # 39; They certainly had to have some exceptional traits, such as beauty or origin & # 39; – says Mrs. Socha.
Two girls were found on a platform mounted on Pichu Pichu, researchers noted intentional deformation of the skull, which was elongated.
This practice was not uncommon among Inca people, but was limited to cultures that lived in the lowland areas, far from the mountainous areas where they were laid to rest.
A dental analysis of one of the girls revealed that she had probably experienced a stressful event at the age of three, which she thought might have been when she was torn from her family.
& # 39; I suppose it was then that the girl was taken from her parents and taken to Cuzco, the capital of the Inca empire, where the girl was prepared for three years to be sacrificed at the top of the volcano, & # 39; said Mrs. Socha, according to PAP.
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Sacrificing children seems to have been a relatively common phenomenon in the cultures of ancient Peru, including the pre-Incan Sican or Lambayeque culture and the Chimu people who followed them, as well as the Inca itself.
Among the finds that reveal this ritual behavior are the mummified remains of a child's body, discovered in 1985 by a group of mountain climbers.
The remains were discovered at around 17,388ft (5,300 meters) on the southwestern ridge of Mount Cerro Aconcagua in the Argentinian province of Mendoza.
Sacrificing children seems to have been a relatively common occurrence in the cultures of ancient Peru. Among the finds that reveal this ritual behavior were the mummified remains of a child's body (photo), discovered in 1985 by a group of mountain climbers
The boy is thought to have been the victim of an Inca ritual called capacocha, in which children of great beauty and health were sacrificed by drugging them and taking them into the mountains to freeze to death.
Ruins of a sanctuary used by the Inca to offer children to their gods were discovered by archaeologists in a coastal ruin complex in Peru in 2016.
Experts who dig in Chotuna-Chornancap, in the north of Lima, discovered 17 graves from the 15th century. This included the graves of six children who were placed side by side in pairs of shallow graves.
Capacocha was a ritual that usually took place at the death of an Inca king. The local gentlemen had to select impeccable children who represent the ideal of human perfection.
Ruins of a shrine used by the Inca to sacrifice children to their gods were discovered by archaeologists in 2016 in a coastal ruin complex in Peru. Experts who dig in Chotuna-Chornancap (photo), in the north of Lima, discovered 17 graves from at least the 15th century
Children were married and received sets of miniature figures for people and llamas in gold, silver, copper, and shell. The male figures have elongated earlobes and a braided headband and the female figurines wore their hair in braids.
The children were then taken back to their original communities, where they were honored before being sacrificed to the mountain gods on the Llullaillaco volcano.
The expression Capacocha is translated as & # 39; solemn sacrifice & # 39; or & # 39; royal obligation & # 39 ;.
The reason for this type of sacrificial rituals is typically understood to be the commemoration of important life events of the Inca emperor, to send them to the gods at their death, to stop natural disasters, encourage the growth of crops, or for religious ceremonies.
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