Children Killed In History's Largest Mass Sacrifice Unearthed In Peru
29 April, 2018, 00:38 | Author: Rafael Roberts
"I, for one, never expected it", said Verano, a physical anthropologist who has worked in the region for more than three decades, to Nat Geo. "And I don't think anyone else would have, either". They're preparing to publish their findings in a scientific research journal and are expanding their search around Huanchaco after finding evidence of similar mass sacrifice sites that come from the same time period.
In addition, near the city of Trujillo also were found the remains of 200 young lamas who, apparently, was sacrificed on the same day and kids.
The 140 sacrificed children were aged between five and 14.
The condition of the remains suggests the children had incurred cuts to the sternum and rib dislocations for the removal of their hearts.
The researchers are now trying to figure out why these children were sacrificed.
The children's skulls are stained with red, cinnabar-based pigment, evidence that they were sacrificed in ritual killings, as the pigment was used in ceremonies.
Evidence from a layer of dried mud in part of the site led the team to believe that the killings were made in a single event and could have been done in response to severe flooding. They note that there may also be other sites like this at Las Llamas awaiting discovery.
More than 200 young llamas were sacrificed alongside the children - all of which were killed in a single event.
Joseph Watts, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, said, while mass adult sacrifices can be explained that they were a crucial part of development of complex societies - and how elite social classes began the stratification and control of populations - "it's definitely harder to explain child sacrifice". "Also, at a personal level". Archaeologists are unclear as to what was the reason these ancient people sacrificed their most beloved possession - their children.
Professor Prieto said along with the bones, researchers found footprints that had survived rain and erosion. He suggests that when adult sacrifices did not bring the desired outcome, out of desperation the people may have turned to their most precious belongings; their children. The llamas were less than 18 months and were buried facing the Andes mountains on the east. "Human life was the most valuable, followed by llamas and then guinea pigs", he said.
Along with the children's remains, archaeologists uncovered the bodies of one man and two women near the sacrificial site. Since elevated sea temperatures and coastal flooding linked to El Nino could've affected both fishing and agriculture, archaeologists suspect the Chimu got desperate.
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