Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Archaeologists find Inca who was earliest gunshot victim in N. America

Peruvian archaeologist Guillermo Cock, a research associate at UCLA's Fowler Museum and a researcher for National Geographic, excavated hundreds of shallow burials in Puruchuco that showed extensive evidence of violent deaths: Many were hacked to death, some were stabbed, and one was shot.

The skull of one individual showed the entrance and exit holes of what Cock believes to be a musket ball, fired from a Spanish weapon. Physical anthropologists confirmed Cock's initial conclusion that a round projectile caused the injury, and experts at the University of Connecticut used a powerful microscope to detect trace amounts of iron around the holes in the skull, confirming the hypothesis.

Cock believes these victims were slaughtered by the Spanish during an Inca uprising in 1536.

See the rest of the story at National Geographic.

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