800-year-old remains of children uncovered in Peru reveal grim pre-Inca times

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Archaeologists have excavated remains of 42 children and 74 camelids in the fishing town of Huanchaquito, Trujillo, in Peru. The children and the camelids were sacrificed approximately 800 years ago, said archaeologists. 

An archaeological student cleans one of the unearthed remains in Trujillo September 13, 2011 [Credit: Reuters/Mariana Bazo]

Oscar Gabriel Prieto, chief archaeologist of the archaeological project, said the human and animal remains were “part of a massive sacrifice that formed part of a religious ceremony of the pre-Inca Chimu culture” in the region.  
People following the culture ruled the northern coast of Peru from 850 AD until their fall during the reign of the Inca Empire in Peru around 1470 AD.  

An archaeological student cleans one of the unearthed remains [Credit: Reuters/Mariana Bazo]

The people, also called Chimor, worshipped the Moon and followed a practice of sacrificing their own children as small as aged five for the fertility of the ocean and the land. 

In 1977, about 200 skeletal remains belonging to the Chimu culture were unearthed on a beach in Peru but this was the first time individual remains have been discovered, Reuters reported the archaeologist as saying. 

The
remains of a child and a camelid are seen, part of the 42 children and
74 camelids remains unearthed in the fishing town of Huanchaquito,
Trujillo September 13, 2011 [Credit: Reuters/Mariana Bazo]

“It represents the most important discovery related to human and animal sacrifices of the Chimu culture in terms of numbers of excavated individuals,” Prieto said. 

Source: International Business Times [September 16, 2011]

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