Recently found in Peru were the tombs of 76 children who were sacrificed about a thousand years ago during religious rituals of the pre-Columbian Chimu civilization. These tombs were discovered during searches carried out in a holy place where children’s bones had previously been found.

“We found 76 tombs containing the remains of children who were offered as sacrifices,” a local Arabic daily said quoting archaeologist Luis Flores as telling AFP.

“We were surprised to find more remains when we dug to a depth of ten or twenty centimeters,” Luis Flores said, explaining that the children’s chests opened straight to pull their hearts out.

He added that the children were presented as sacrifices, perhaps coinciding with events that were taking place at the time, such as lack of rain, drought, political (problems) or wars, pointing out that there are several hypotheses that are being studied.

The remains of these children, who were sacrificed between the ages of 6 and 15, were found between July and August in two small squares in the Pampa la Cruz site of the coastal resort of Huanchaco near the city of Trujillo, about 500 kilometers north of the capital, Lima.

The same team of researchers, headed by archaeologist Gabriel Prieto, had previously found between 2016 and 2019 the remains of 240 children sacrificed from the Chimo group that lived on the coast of present-day northern Peru between 900 and 1450.

Among the remains found, the bones of five “seated” girls were buried with their heads facing each other in a circle. “Thanks to the Pampa la Cruz site, we realized that human sacrifice, especially children, was an essential element of the Chimo civilization,” Gabriel Prieto told Peruvian news agency Andina.

Besides the Peruvian archaeologists, students and researchers from the Universities of Florida, Tulane and Louisiana participated in the excavation, which ended in September.

It is assumed that it will resume in 2023, according to Flores, and subsequently the number of human remains discovered is expected to increase.

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