Sacrificed Incan Children Died Full of Coca and Alcohol | Motherboard
Researchers ran tests on three creepily well-preserved mummies—a boy and a girl who were four or five, and one 13-year-old girl. They were discovered in 1999 in a shrine near a the summit of a volcano in Argentina, buried some 500 years ago.
Forensics tests on the teenage girl revealed that, for the last year of her life, she switched from eating potatoes to a diet of llama meat and maize. An analysis of her hair—performed by researchers just as if she were a potential employee—revealed that during the same period her consumption of coca spiked as well. Coca is the plant that cocaine is extracted from, and a large lump of coca quid was found in the mummy’s mouth.
The coca leaves contain only trace amounts of the alkaloid that is turned into coke, but the coca levels detected in the mummy were much higher than other ancient coca-leaf chewers. The tests also revealed that she ingested a large amount of alcohol (probably from fermented corn) in her last final weeks of life.