| Lightning Girl, Museum of High Altitude Archaeology |
|Age||500 years old (6 yrs old at death)|
|Status||was a child sacrifice. Well preserved frozen mummy.|
|Date(s)||Found in 1999|
|Location||Border of Chile and Argentina|
La Nina del rayo, or better known as Lightning Girl, is a 6 year old female, child mummy. She was found on Mount Llullaillaco, a mountain found in Argentina, with 2 other child mummies. After close examination, scientists have deducted that Lightning Girl came from a poor family based on her diet. She was then most likely chosen to be sacrificed by the community. This resulted in a change in her diet to more luxurious food, until her time of death. Scientists believe this annual sacrifices conducted by the Incan Society were used to instill fear in the community, in case their children were to be chosen for sacrifice.
Lightning Girl was mummified by the extreme temperatures on the mountain she was found on. She was almost completely intact except for damage found on her face and shoulder due to being struck by lightning after death.
After the initial discovery of the mummies, they have been thoroughly studied. Recently, a hair analyses revealed that Lightning Girl was fed a lot of coca leaves (cocaine is derived from this plant) and alcohol before the time of her death. Scientists believe that this was done to ease the children of any fear of their inevitable sacrificial death. Compared to the other mummies she was found with, Lightning girl shows no evidence of struggle, in contrast to the boy she was found with. The boy has remnants of blood on his face with his limbs tied.
There was no evidence of disease or pathology found in this mummy.
Castro, J. (2013, July 29). Final Moments of Incan Child Mummies' Lives Revealed. Retrieved from: http://www.livescience.com/38504-incan-child-mummies-lives-revealed.html