Mummified Incan teen drank, did drugs | Science News


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Mummified Incan teen drank, did drugs

Girl, who was sacrificed, may have been sedated by alcohol, coca leaves

2:58pm, July 29, 2013

CHILD SACRIFICE  The mummified teenager known as the Maiden ingested copious amounts of alcohol and chewed coca leaves in the weeks before her death in an Incan sacrifice ritual, a new analysis of her tightly braided hair finds.

In the month before her death as a sacrifice to Incan gods, a teenage girl drank heavily and chewed coca leaves, according to a new analysis of her mummified remains. The discovery suggests that the girl, known as the Maiden, was heavily sedated or perhaps already dead when she was entombed around 500 years ago in a shrine atop the Llullaillaco volcano on the border between Argentina and Chile. Her death was probably part of the sacrifice ritual called capacocha.

CT scans of the girl’s body exposed a mass of coca leaves tucked into her left cheek, an international team reports July 29 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Chemical analyses

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