The Inca girl known as “The Maiden” was only 15 years old when she died. Her frozen, entombed body was found in 1999 on an Argentinian volcano. The body, as you’ll see, is perfectly preserved, though she died around 500 years ago.
The last time I was shocked by a “frozen woman” story, we introduced you to Jean Hilliard, who walked away completely unscathed after collapsing in the snow for six mysterious hours. The Maiden’s tale, however, ends much differently than Jean’s…
Here’s how the story goes: The young girl was apparently chosen by the Inca people as a sacrifice to their gods, for which children were taken to the high mountain tops, fed coca leaves on the way, and then given an intoxicating drink at the burial site. When they where intoxicated, the Inca priests would kill them, or leave them to freeze to death.
Recently, scientists discovered coca lumps for chewing in between her teeth, suggesting she was in fact sedated when she died. The Maiden also had a bacterial infection similar to tuberculosis when she died. They think that the discovery of this bacteria could potentially help fight new or reemerging illnesses. So even though this poor girl died 500 years ago, her sacrifice could help to cure some diseases affecting people today. How truly fascinating is this?!
The Maiden’s death — or sacrifice, however you want to look at it — is not in vain.