In 1995, the body of an almost entirely frozen young Inca girl, later named Mummy Juanita, was discovered on Mount Ampato. Two more ice-preserved mummies, one girl and one boy, were discovered nearby a short while later. All showed signs of death by a blow to the head. Juanita was killed as an offering to the Inca gods sometime between 1450 and 1480, she was approximately 11–15 years old.

Judging from the condition of the body, it is believed that she was drugged and left to die in the mountains. It would not have taken much time for her to die due to the high exposure. The Incan high priests took their victims to high mountaintops for sacrifice. As the journey was extremely long and arduous, especially so for the younger victims, coca leaves were fed to them to aid them in their breathing so as to allow them to reach the burial site alive. Upon reaching the burial site, the children were given an intoxicating drink to minimize pain, fear, and resistance, then killed them either by strangulation, a blow to their head or by leaving them to lose consciousness in the extreme cold and die of exposure. She is the best-preserved mummy ever found, with internal organs intact, blood still present in the heart and lungs, and skin and facial features mostly unscathed. No special effort had been made to preserve her and 500 years later still looked like sleeping children.

Many Inca children were offered as sacrifice during or after important events, such as the death of the Sapa Inca (who was the emperor) or during a famine. These sacrifices were known as capacocha.

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