La Libertad: A new sacrifice of children in ancient Peru was found

Archaeologists found the remains of 132 children and 260 young llamas slaughtered in a new explored area of Huanchaco, in La Libertad region.
A new archaeological discovery surprised the team of researchers who for eight years studied the vestiges of the Chimú civilization in the district of Huanchaco. There are 132 remains of children and 260 young llamas that were found in Pampa La Cruz, a recently excavated area located at the entrance of Trujillo beach.

This discovery is added to the founded remains of 137 children and 206 young llamas in the area of Huanchaquito – Las Llamas (1.5 kilometers from Pampa La Cruz), which was presented in April 2018 and is considered, until now , the largest massive sacrifice of children in America, “and probably in world history,” according to “National Geographic.”

“In this case it is about four sacrificial events, ranging from the year 1200 to 1520; that is, one every 100 years, which took place during the heyday of the Chimu civilization. This shows us that even with the Inca conquest, the Chimú continued with human sacrifice “, the Peruvian archaeologist Gabriel Prieto tells to El Comercio, who since 2011 leads the research team that in recent years has received funding from the National Geographic Society.

Something that surprised the researchers, in this new finding, is the presence of textiles with representations of deities and ornaments in good condition.

“The extraordinary thing is that we have found a set of 10 tombs and apparently children of the Chimu elite because they were buried with artifacts and painted dresses. We have even found ishpingo seeds and feathered headdresses from exotic birds of the jungle in excellent condition” says Prieto.
For specialists, the presence of seeds and feathers of birds from the Peruvian east are a sign of the relationship, apparently a very active trade, between the coastal and jungle societies.

The anthropologist John Verano of the University of Tulane, part of the research team, points out that there is no scientific evidence of sacrifices of children of this magnitude in other civilizations, even in empires such as the Inca, Maya or Aztec.

“All over the world there is evidence of sacrifices, but in numbers they do not compare with those made by the Chimus. In this case studies have determined that children, whose ages range between 5 and 14 years, were in good health, which indicates with certainty that it was a sacrifice of great value.

Verano adds that the signs point to the presence of more vestiges of the Chimú culture in this area of Huanchaco. “This is an example of how archeology never ceases to amaze us. Most likely, I’m sure of that, is that we find more archaeological remains, especially in Pampa La Cruz”, says the anthropologist.

“These discoveries continue to give us more light of the Chimu culture and will further promote interest. We have non-excavated areas that are very close. We do not know where it will end”, adds Verano.

Source: El Comercio Newspaper






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