First Gunshot Victim in the Americas Uncovered

Researchers in Peru have discovered the remains of an Inca who appears to have been shot in the head with a Spanish musket ball 500 years ago. The body was found with 35 others also bearing evidence of violent injuries.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, host:

News this week of the New World's first ever gunshot victim. And it's very unlikely anyone dialed 911 at the time. Researchers in Peru have discovered the remains of an Inca who appears to have been shot in the head with a Spanish musket ball 500 years ago.

Peruvian archaeologists digging in an ancient Inca cemetery outside Lima came across this skeleton with two round holes in its skull that bore traces of iron. Archaeologist Guillermo Cock told the New York Times that at least 35 of the skeletons excavated from the site were evidence of violent injury.

After the Spanish invaded the region in the 1500s, there were battles between Inca warriors and the conquistadores. By the end of the century, millions of Incas who built a vast empire and carved cities out of mountaintop had died from European diseases and attacks.

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