In what has been hailed ‘one of the most pivotal archaeological discoveries in modern times’, archaeologists in Peru reveal they have uncovered possibly the world’s largest human sacrifice site.
Human Sacrifice Site
Perhaps it was an exceptionally bad year for their much-needed crops. Maybe, experts say, a catastrophic series of ravaging floods destroyed the coastal areas of northern Peru. Whatever the case may have been: something cataclysmic must have occurred for the ancient Chimu people of northern Peru to sacrifice more than 100 children to appease their gods. It is a discovery that has shocked and fascinated in equal measure. Scientists believed they have found the largest ancient child sacrifice site in the world and it is hoped the new discovery, once confirmed, will shed light on the rituals of the ancient indigenous inhabitants of Latin America.
The discovery was made near the city of Trujillo, nowadays famous for its exceptional ceviche and excellent surfing beaches. Over 500 years ago, this was the land of the Chimus, a lesser-known yet equally powerful tribe that lived alongside the Incas, the most famous of all ancient cultures in the region and one also famous for having practised human sacrifice. The discovered archaeological site, named Huanchaquito-Las Llamas, has been found to contain the remains of 140 children between the ages of five and 14, alongside the remains of 200 juvenile llamas who seemed to have been sacrificed simultaneously with the children.
Experts can trace the site back to a time when the El Nino wreaked havoc along the Peruvian coastline, possibly causing devastating and ongoing floods that would have irreparably ruined the Chimu’s very livelihood. Close to other important Chimu sites already found, one which also included sacrificed children, the new Las Llamas site is, nevertheless, the largest of its kind ever found. Prior to this, an ancient Aztec site in Mexico had the dubious honour of being the largest child-sacrifice site ever found but if Peru’s latest discovery is indeed confirmed for what it’s believed to be, then it will supersede it, by far.