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Archeologists unearth Peru’s oldest mass sacrifice of children

Lima, Feb 16 (EFE).- The discovery of six children buried between the years 800 and 1,000, in an apparent sacrifice for the mummy of Cajamarquilla, on the outskirts of Lima, has raised new questions for archeologists, who believe that it could be the oldest mass sacrifice of children that has ever been unearthed in Peru.

On the outside of the opulent tomb containing the mummy of a high-class pre-Incan man, the archeologists found last Thursday five graves with the bodies of six children, wrapped in bales of cotton.

Scattered next to them were vessels and skeletons, in poor condition and showing signs of violence, which belonged to seven adults, at least three women, while the body of a seventh child, which has not yet been excavated, was also identified.

The lead archeologists, Yomira Huamán and Pieter Van Dalen, are working under the hypothesis that these burials were sacrifices to “accompany the mummy on its way to the world of the dead.”

“The bodies could belong to the man’s wives, children or servants,” they added.

“We have seen that there are some (bodies) that offer sacrifice. Many of them have parts cut off and others in the fetal forward position,” Huamán told Efe.

Although child sacrifices were not uncommon in Peru’s ancient civilizations, “this is the first time that evidence of sacrifices has been found of children en masse in periods as old as 800 to 1,000 after Christ,” Van Dalen told Efe.

Last year, archeologists found the mummy of a meticulously buried body, which is believed to have been of a man of high social status who may have been mummified between the years 800 and 1,000. EFE


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