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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Archaeologists work carefully to excavate a newly discovered Inca burial site in the Lima, Peru, suburb of Puruchuco. The graveyard contained well-preserved mummies as well as the remains of 72 people who were hastily buried with the usual elaborate Inca customs.

The speed and chaos of the burials—along with three apparent gunshot wounds—suggests that the victims fell prey to Spanish conquistadors nearly 500 years ago. Because the remains of women and children were found at the site, experts say, the skeletons were likely support staff for warriors engaging the European invaders.

"It is the first tangible evidence of Spanish violence towards indigenous peoples that we have from South America," said Karen Olsen Bruhns, a San Francisco State University archaeologist specializing in Central and South America.

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Photo by Elena Goycochea © 2007 National Geographic/Puruchuco-Huaquerones Archaeological Project
 
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