Video: First New World Gunshot Victim Discovered

Email to a Friend

June 19, 2007—In an Inca cemetery outside Lima, Peru, a team led by Peruvian archaeologist and National Geographic grantee Guillermo Cock has uncovered the skeleton of the man they believe is the first documented gunshot victim in the Americas.

(Read the full story and see pictures.)

Since they began digging in 2004, the team has excavated about 500 skeletons dating back some 500 years to the Inca civilization. One skull stood out—marked with what appeared to be the entrance wound from a musket ball.

Edges of the hole in the skull were found to be impregnated with fragments of iron, a metal sometimes used for Spanish musket balls. It appears that a musket ball less than an inch (2.5 centimeters) wide punched into the back of the skull and passed through the head, leaving pieces of iron deep inside the bone.

The body is thought to be the first forensically proven casualty of the Spanish conquest.

NEWS FEEDS    After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed. After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.

Get our news delivered directly to your desktop—free.
How to Use XML or RSS




ADVERTISEMENT


LATEST NEWS VIDEOS

National Geographic Daily News To-Go

Listen to your favorite National Geographic news daily, anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone. No wires or syncing. Download Stitcher free today.