Largest Known Child Mass Sacrifice Of 140 Children Linked To El Niño

Remains of 140 children who died in the 16th century, point to largest child sacrifice in history

Remains of 140 children who died in the 16th century, point to largest child sacrifice in history

During three years of careful excavation, the archaeologists found that over 140 children, between the ages of 5 and 14 years of age, along with 200 young llamas were ritually sacrificed and buried on a bluff overlooking Peru's northern shoreline, in the shadow of what was then the capital city of Chan Chan, a large adobe city in the Moche Valley of present-day Trujillo, Peru.

A shocking discovery was made near the Pacific ocean, among residential complexes in La Libertad outside of Trujillo, the third largest city of Peru.

Acknowledging that the discovery of human sacrifice has been found among the Aztec, Inca and Mayan cultures, Nat Geo noted that the Chimú find "is unprecedented in the Americas - if not the world".

Ongoing scientific investigations into the Peru site, formally called Huanchaquito-Las Llamas, are being carried out by an worldwide team funded by the National Geographic Society.

"I, for one, never expected it, and I don't think anyone else would have, either".

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. Deep skid marks were also found near the llamas, suggesting they may have resisted whatever happened.

According to the report, "Skeletal remains of both children and animals show evidence of cuts to the sternum as well as rib dislocations".

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By 2016, the remains of 140 children and 200 young llamas had been discovered at the site. The three adults discovered had blunt-force trauma to the pinnacle and no grave, main scientist to imagine they, too, have been a part of the sacrifice.

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.

As Haagen Klaus, an anthropologist at George Mason University, told National Geographic, when faced with imminent destruction, "people sacrifice that which is of most and greatest value to them".

Researchers believe the sacrifice may have had to do with the Chimu's desperate attempts to appease El-Nino - a weather cycle occurring every 2-7 years that can cause stronger hurricanes, flooding and increased rainfall. They had all apparently died of violent head wounds, and it is surmised they may have participated in the sacrifices. "Skeletal evidence clearly indicates that the children and camelids were sacrificed by cutting open the thoracic cavity", the researchers reported.

The team said that mud found at the site could have been the result of severe flooding and rain at the time that could disrupted food supplies.

"This just may be the tip of the iceberg".

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