A 500-year-old frozen Incan mummy, in an undated handout photo. Forensic anthropologists compared proteins from the Inca girl to a large database, determining she had what looked like a chronic respiratory infection.
An Inca girl who lived 500 years ago suffered from a bacterial lung infection just before she died, report scientists who examined her mummy. The girl, about 15, was sacrificed at the summit of Llullaillaco volcano in Argentina, said Angelique Corthals, a forensic anthropologist at the City University of New York. The study, published in the journal PLoS One, used a technique that compared the proteins found in the mummy against genome databases. The mummy was one of three sacrificed children found in 1999. "The girl actually had gray hair, so I think they knew their fate," Corthals said. "And the little girl and boy also had their teeth ground down." NEW YORK TIMES