Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Mass Child Sacrifice Site in Peru

29 April, 2018, 00:45 | Author: Christina Harvey
  • Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Mass Child Sacrifice Site in Peru

The cliff is located near Trujillo, Peru's third largest city.

The victims appear to have been part of a ritual sacrifice that took place almost 550 years ago when the Chimú Empire ruled the area, archaeologists said. They also found three adults found had blunt-force trauma to the head and no grave, leading scientist to believe they, too, were part of the sacrifice.

"While incidents of human sacrifice among the Aztec, Maya and Inca have been recorded in colonial-era Spanish chronicles and documented in modern scientific excavations, the discovery of a large-scale child sacrifice event in the little-known pre-Columbian Chimu civilization is unprecedented in the Americas - if not in the entire world", National Geographic said. The team is headed by Gabriel Prieto (Gabriel Prieto) from the National University of Trujillo and John Verano (Verano of Tulane) University Tulane.

Archaeologists unearthed the remains of more than 140 children and 200 young llamas from what appeared to have been a ritual sacrifice that took place 550 years ago on a bluff along the northern coast, National Geographic reported Thursday.

The children mostly ranged from around eight to twelve years old (though the youngest were five). When discovered, some of the human and animal victims seemed to have had their chests cut open, perhaps to have their hearts removed, according to Nat Geo.

The name of the archaeological site, "Huanchaquito-Las Llamas", is already well-known from a previous discovery of child and llama remains in 2011, notes Fox News.

"I, for one, never expected it", Verano told the magazine. But evidence of mass sacrifices of children are not many.




All the remains of the children were facing west, out to the sea, while Llamas were buried facing the east, toward the high peaks of the Andes. The sacrificed Llamas on the other hand, were less 18 months of age.

Mr Quilter is part of a team which will analyse DNA from the children's remains to see if they were related and to find out where they came from.

"It is ritual killing, and it's very systematic", Verano told National Geographic.

The researchers are now trying to figure out why these children were sacrificed.

Along with the children's remains, archaeologists uncovered the bodies of one man and two women near the sacrificial site.

Gabriel Prieto, the other lead researcher, said: "When people hear about what happened and the scale of it, the first thing they always ask is why".

The layer of mud, which held fossilized footprints of the children and the llamas, suggests there was severe rain and floods on the typically dry coastline, which is often affected by El-Nino, the researchers said.

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