Mass child sacrifice found in Peru

30 April, 2018, 12:04 | Author: Valerie Santiago
  • NG_News_ChildSacrifice_006

Archaeologists have discovered evidence that points to what is possibly the largest child sacrifice in world history off the northern coast of Peru.

Archaeologists were first alerted to the human remains after residents of the Peruvian city of Trujillo found weathered skeletons protruding from a bluff near their houses in the La Libertad neighborhood in 2011. The remains date back 550 years to the time of the Chimu empire.

Some ancient cultures in America practiced human sacrifice, including the Maya, Aztecs and Incas, who conquered the Chimu Empire in the late 15th century.

The site is formally called Huanchaquito-Las Llamas and falls within a residential neighborhood. The team is led by Gabriel Prieto of the Universidad Nacional de Trujillo and John Verano of Tulane University.

The site, archaeologists said held evidence of what could be the world's largest single case of child sacrifice and contains the skeletons of 140 children who were aged between five and 14 when they were ritually sacrificed during a ceremony.

"I, for one, never expected it", Verano told the magazine.

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The youngsters had their faces smeared with a crimson cinnabar-based pigment, the report says, which happened through the ceremony earlier than their chests have been minimize open, nearly certainly to take away their hearts. The llamas were less than 18 months and were buried facing the Andes mountains on the east.

The cuts to both the children and llamas' skeletal remains suggest their chests were cut open.

The excavation, conducted in 2016, revealed the remains of more than 140 children and 200 young llamas that had been sacrificed around A.D. Most societal models that look at human sacrifice, however, are based on the ritual killing of adults, says Joseph Watts, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

In the grave were found the remains of 140 children. Prieto said, explaining that a layer of mud was caked around the bodies, suggesting evidence of severe rains from El Nino in a usually dry area.

"People sacrifice that which is of most and greatest value to them", Haagen Klaus, one of the researchers involved in the dig, told the publication. Human sacrifice has taken place in every corner of the world at one time or another in our history, although the mass sacrifice of children is very rare, actually nearly unheard of to most scientists. "They may have seen that [adult sacrifice] was ineffective". There are even skid marks in the sediment indicating places where the sacrificial victims were reluctant to participate.

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