Aconcagua Boy
The Aconcagua Child
Biographical Information
Name(s) Aconcagua Boy
Age 7-8
Sex Male
Height Unspecified
Culture Inca
Date(s) Approx. 500 years ago
Current Location
Catalog # Unknown
In 1985, hikers climbing Argentina’s Aconcagua mountain stumbled upon the frozen corpse of a 7-year-old boy. The hikers notified archaeologists, who carefully excavated the body. They determined that

the Aconcagua boy, was sacrificed as part of an Incan ritual 500 years ago and had been naturally mummified by the mountain’s cold, dry environment


The Aconcagua boy died as part of an Incan ritual of child sacrifice called capacocha. Children and adolescents were taken to the tops of high peaks and left to die of exposure or killed outright; the Aconcagua boy was likely killed by a blow to the head.

Researchers extracted the mummy’s complete mitochondrial genomefrom one of its lungs; he belonged to a population of native South Americans that had never been identified, wgich likely arose in the Andes about 14,000 years ago. It is extremely rare today. .


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