Inca Children Were Put on Top of Volcanoes to Be Hit by Lightning

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Inca Children Were Put on Top of Volcanoes to Be Hit by Lightning


Dr. Johan Reinhard, an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society, discovered the remains of six children on two volcanoes in Peru, Ampato and Pichu Pichu more than two decades ago. They were found seated on rectangular stone platforms on these mountains and in varying states of preservation. 


Photo Credit: Daily Mail


It was discovered that these children were from the Inca Empire, the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. According to the Daily Mail, a British daily middle-market newspaper published in London in a tabloid format, the children were taken from their homes to be slaughtered. They were placed on top of mountains to get struck by lightning. The experts stated that killing a child during this era in the name of religion was considered an honor.


Photo Credit: Daily Mail


The children were chosen due to their 'purity'. It was believed that they were great picks for the sacrifice to the bloodthirsty gods. “According to the Incas, a person struck by lightning received great honor — a god expressed interest in that person,” said Dagmara Socha, a bioarchaeologist at the University of Warsaw. Through advanced x-ray imaging and 3D modeling, the scientists found several clues that showed the lightning strikes endured by the children’s bodies. For instance, they have burn marks on their soft tissue and their clothing.


Photo Credit: Daily Mail


Aside from that, the researchers also discovered that the stone platforms had signs of being struck repeatedly while the soil around the sacrificial sites appeared to have crystallized from the impact of the bolts. Socha and her study co-author, Rudi Chavez Perea, the director of the Museo Santuarios Andinos of the Catholic University of Santa Maria, also identified where these children came from.

According to All That’s Interesting, a site for curious people who want to know more about what they see on the news or read in history books, one female victim, which was believed to be about three years old, had a deliberately elongated head. This was a common practice among Incas living in the coastal areas, not those in the high mountains.




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