Photo Gallery: New World's Oldest Gunshot Victim Found?

Photo Gallery: Inca Cemetery May Hold New World's Oldest Gunshot Victim
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A piece of bone recovered intact near a skull in an Inca cemetery revealed that the man to whom it belongsslain almost 500 years agomight have been the New World's first gunshot victim.

Analysis of the plug showed he was killed with a firearm much less forceful than modern weaponry, and the projectile's concave imprint is highly suggestive of a musket ball. In addition, detailed microscope examination of the skull and plug showed fragments of iron, a metal commonly used in Spanish ammunition.

"This gave us positive evidence that this individual died during conquest and was killed by gunfire," said Guillermo Cock, leader of the expedition that uncovered the mass Inca grave where the gunshot victim was found. "We have traces of iron on the edges of the bullet entrance and we have exit damage in the face caused by the bullet leaving the head."

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Photo by Becky Hale © 2007 National Geographic
 
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