Virgins of the Sun and Incan Human Sacrifice


Smithsonian Channel


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investigators are piecing together the life of this 500 year old Lucca mummy pottery links her to the Empire's capital Cusco a tunic suggests she was the daughter of a local chief and coca leaves place her in an important spiritual circle but there's one item that stands out above the rest a beautiful headdress the finest ever found in an extraordinary state of preservation this headdress is a kind of crown it she's like a princess for Incas feathers are more important than gold for Gabriela this headdress provides the final piece of the puzzle this kind of head rests were used only for special ceremonies and mainly for virgins of the Sun virgins of the Sun were famous throughout the Inca Empire chronicles record that a special group were chosen each year to serve the Sun God you some could be of a fairly young age that could be six to eight years some may be ten years their beauty was one of the reasons for selecting them and in some cases even their parents might have offered them to become part of the service of the inca religion as a virgin of the Sun the maiden would have been separated from her family never to return home pottery from her tomb suggests she was brought to Cusco and Johanna is here to pick up her trail this is the place where the Virgin's of the Sun were kept a so called aqua considered incredibly sacred to the Incas these buildings were especially designed to keep them apart in order to keep them pure the maiden lives a cloistered existence part none part priestess preparing sacred offerings for the Sun God rarely is she allowed out so why does she leave this place to make a 1000 mile pilgrimage to a distant mountain at a certain point these virgins of the Sun would be allocated their duties in essence their destinies some would be selected to be contraband to the nobility and a few a very select few would be selected as offerings as as human sacrifice the maiden didn't go to mount you Yakko to make an offering she was the offer singled out by her own people for human sacrifice different kind of qualities were taken into consideration as to which child would be selected they had to have some kind of a charisma about them they wouldn't have a child who was easily frightened for the income being chosen for sacrifice was a great privilege and in Cuzco the maiden would have been treated as a goddess she would about their very special ceremonies in the presence of the Inca Emperor himself and been very highly honored she left cusco in a blaze of glory and the fame followed her all the way to the volcano but under all the glory there is a bitter truth a 14 year old girl walking 1,000 miles knowing that she is going to die