AKIPRESS.COM - Archaeologists in northern Peru say they have found evidence of what could be the world’s largest single case of child sacrifice, the Associated Press reports.
The pre-Columbian burial site, known as Las Llamas, contains the skeletons of 140 children who were between the ages of five and 14 when they were ritually sacrificed during a ceremony about 550 years ago, experts who led the excavation told The Associated Press on Friday.
The site, located near the modern day city of Trujillo, also contained the remains of 200 young llamas apparently sacrificed on the same day.
The burial site was apparently built by the ancient Chimu empire. It is thought the children were sacrificed as floods caused by the El Nino weather pattern ravaged the Peruvian coastline.
Verano said the children’s skeletons contained lesions on their breastbones, which were probably made by a ceremonial knife. Dislocated ribcages suggest that whoever was performing the sacrifices may have been trying to extract the children’s hearts.
“Reports of very large sacrifices are known from other parts of the world, but it is difficult to know if the numbers are exaggerated or not,” Quilter wrote.