Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Sarita
Age youth
Sex f
Status sacrifice
Height 1.40 meters
Culture Inca
Site Sara Sara in southern Peru
Current Location
Location Museo Santuarios Andinos, Arequipa, Perú
Catalog #
Researcher Johan Reinhard and his team found the remains of Sarita on the 18,070 foot Andean volcanic peak, Sara Sara in southern Peru, between Arequipa and Ayacucho, on a southeast-facing slope.


She was sacrificed more than 500 years ago as an offering to Inca gods, probably including the sun, moon, and the mountain itself. Found in a fetal position, Sarita had been placed on a platform along with three gold and silver statuettes and a small bundle of coca leaves, traditional offerings to the mountain gods. Her body had been preserved by ice, cold temperatures, and dry air, mummifying the young girl.


Researchers believe the Inca people practiced human sacrifice, but those of children were rarer, usually only in periods of famine, epidemic, military defeat, or other upheaval.


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