Inca child victim found in Andes

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The Independent Online
An expedition to a remote peak in the Andes has unearthed the child victim of an Inca human sacrifice and a record number of artefacts. The expedition, led by the archaeologist Johan Reinhard, was obtaining footage for a BBC Horizon programme.

A skull and skeleton thought to belong to a child sacrificed 500 years ago to appease mountain gods was found 18,000ft up Mount Sara Sara, in Peru. The team also found a record seven Inca artefacts strewn around the sacrificial platform.

They included perfectly preserved six-inch-high gold and silver male and female statuettes and a llama carved from an oyster shell. The Incas are said to have sacrificed more than 2,000 people on the mountain.

A BBC producer, Tim Haines, said: "We're incredibly lucky with just two filming days left to have found this skeleton and such amazing artefacts. We've all been suffering from a bacterial infection, so this has given us a much-needed boost to our morale." Last year, Dr Reinhard discovered an Inca child mummy frozen on the nearby summit of Nevado Ampato and which became known as the Ice Maiden.

A search is continuing to see if a similar mummy might lie preserved under the permafrost of Sara Sara. Dr Reinhard said: "This was a very sacred mountain to the Inca, and, given what we've uncovered so far, I have little doubt that there was more than one sacrifice on this summit."