Archeologists in Peru unearthed the remains of more than 140 children killed in a mass sacrifice 550 years ago Thursday, claiming it may be the largest human sacrifice in history.
The children were buried alongside 200 young llamas on a bluff along Peru’s northern coast, National Geographic reported Thursday. Archeologist have been exploring the dig site known as “Huanchaquito-Las Llamas” since 2011 when locals found human remains there. Archeologists had identified 42 children and more than 70 llamas by 2016, but they’ve now identified more. The Chimú Empire controlled the region during the 15th Century and was likely the driving force behind the sacrifice, Fox News reported.
More than 140 children were ritually killed in a single mass sacrifice some 550 years ago in Peru—and archaeologists think they know what prompted the act. https://t.co/R62VBT4fmc
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) April 26, 2018
“I, for one, never expected it,” said John Verano, an anthropologist with decades of experience in the region. “And I don’t think anyone else would have, either.”
According to anthropologists, the victims were both male and female and ranged from 5 to 14 years old. The state of their remains indicates they had their sternums cut open and their hearts removed. Archeologists also claim the children were all killed in a single event, rather than being the product of smaller, repeated sacrifices.
By 1500, the Chimú Empire would fall the far more well-known but equally savage Incan Empire. Archeologists remain active at the dig site.
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