National Geographic : 1973 Dec
with a double half-moon of silver. The little body is so well preserved that scientists have determined its blood to be type O (universal donor), and have even tried-unsuccessfully -to revive its intestinal parasites. ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE of the Andes at the University of Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina, a wiry old explorer, Bernardo Rizquin, told us about five other finds of frozen sacrifices. In the 1950's and '60's, mountaineers had made arduous "first as cents" of the hemisphere's highest peaks along the Chile-Argentina frontier. Upon gaining the summits, many discovered to their astonishment that sandal-clad Incas had beaten them by 500 years. On some 30 ascents, climbers have found mountaintop Inca shrines and evidence of pilgrimages: offerings of gold and silver figu rines with headdresses of jungle-bird plumes, Inca pottery, llama droppings, and bundles of wood for beacon fires. "Stone walls stand on two snowy summits rising above 22,000 feet, by far the highest archeological sites in the world," Bernardo said. "One courtyard at 20,700 feet had been leveled with nearly 100 tons of earth backpacked from below-about 4,500 loads." Bernardo carried a centuries-old cadaver, shrunken to 40 pounds, from the windswept 20,664-foot level of El Toro peak in 1964. "That Indian, about 20, was no peasant. He had delicate hands and feet. He had been stripped to his breechcloth to quicken death by freezing. We could tell by his accouter ments that he had been sacrificed around 1480, after Tupa Inca overran this region."