El nino (the boy)
Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) El niño
Age 7 years old
Sex Male
Status The mummy remains on display at the Museum of High Altitude Archaeology in Argentina
Culture Inca Empire
Date(s) Death: Sometimes between 1450 and 1480.

Discovered: March 16, 1999 by Dr. Johan Reinhard.

Site Argentina’s Llullaillaco volcano
Current Location
Location Museum of High Altitude Archaeology in Argentina
Catalog #


El niño (the boy) was one of three children that were sacrificed as part of a religious ritual, known as capacocha. El niño and two other girls were drugged with chicha (maize beer), after they fell asleep they were left on Argentina’s Llullaillaco volcano, where they froze to death. It was consider an honour to be sacrificed for this ritual and only healthy and physically perfect children were sacrificed. According to the Inca culture these children did not die, but instead joined their ancestors and watched over their villages like angels.

The two other mummies were girls, one was 6 years old and the other one was between the ages 11-15. El niño and the 6 year old girl, were sacrifices to serve the oldest mummy as her "attendants".

El niño and the other children were discovered almost 500 years after they were sacrificed, and are now consider some of the best preserved mummies of all time.


El niño was the only one out of the three mummies that was found tied up, his body was so tightly wrapped that some of his ribs and his pelvis were dislocated.


Finding in the DNA of the mummies established that El niño was no related to the other girls. However, the two girls were half sisters.


It is believed that the boy died under stress, as there was vomit and blood found on his clothing. His body eventually froze and it is now consider by several archaeologists to be one of the best preserved Inca mummies in history.

External LinksEdit!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/gallery_1200/remarkable-mummies-world.jpg


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