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Skeletons of 140 child sacrifice victims found in Peru
May 23 2018, 01:20 | Perry Erickson
Largest Known Child Mass Sacrifice Of 140 Children Linked To El Niño
The site where the children and baby llamas were found has been under excavation since 2011, when the site first made headlines after the discovery of 42 children and 76 llamas during an emergency dig.
Archaeologists in Northern Peru said that the found a trace of the mass child sacrifice of the ancient civilization that existed about 550 years ago.
He added, "Reports of very large sacrifices are known from other parts of the world, but it is hard to know if the numbers are exaggerated or not".
"I, for one, never expected it", Verano told the magazine of the sacrifice site, known to the researchers as "Las Llamas". Verano is a physical anthropologist who has worked in the region for more than three decades.
Incidents of human sacrifice among the Aztec, Maya and Inca have been well documented throughout history but the discovery of such a large-scale child sacrifice event is unprecedented in the Americas, if not the entire world, National Geographic reported. The skeletal remains of both the children and the animals show cuts to the sternum and rib dislocations.
Peru's northern coast, where the children and baby llamas were found has been under excavation since 2011. They had all apparently died of violent head wounds, and it is surmised they may have participated in the sacrifices.
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In addition, archaeologists also discovered rope and textiles, which have been radiocarbon dated to between 1400 and 1450. There was also a lack of grave goods in the area where they were buried. They were considered to play a key role in the economic and political dealing of the empire.
Prieto and team said the excavations show that the victims were buried in a layer of mud. By 2016 the number had grown to 140 children and 200 young llamas.
Why did this horrendous event happen? But evidence of mass sacrifices of children are not many. "And I don't think anyone else would have, either". "Also, at a personal level". So what could have motivated the Chimú to resort to it? Archaeologists are unclear as to what was the reason these ancient people sacrificed their most beloved possession - their children.
"People sacrifice that which is of most and greatest value to them", he explained. At the same time, the young llamas, less than 18 months old at the time of the sacrifice, were interred facing the opposite direction, towards the Andes. "Human life was the most valuable, followed by llamas and then guinea pigs", he said.
High sea temperatures caused by the El Nino effect would have disrupted marine fisheries in the area, while coastal flooding could have overwhelmed the Chimu's extensive infrastructure of agricultural canals, the publication said. And the event was indeed a ritual sacrifice.