Lima, April 27 (IANS) Archaeologists have found the remains of more than 140 children in Peru in what appears to have been the largest instance of ancient mass child sacrifice in the world, the media reported.
The children, along with 200 juvenile llamas, are estimated to have been sacrificed about 550 years ago and the remains were found in La Libertad outside Trujillo, Peru’s third-largest city, the Washington Post reported citing a National Geographic report.
It is estimated that the children’s age ranged from about five to 14 years. The llamas were all less than 18 months old.
The children’s skulls are stained with red, evidence that they were sacrificed in ritual killings, as the pigment was used in ceremonies.
The cuts to both the children and llamas’ skeletal remains suggest their chests were cut open.
Items found in the burials, such as ropes, are radiocarbon dated to between 1400 and 1450 A.D.
The excavations began in 2011 when the remains of 42 children and 76 llamas were found.
Until now, the largest incident of mass child sacrifice was believed to have occurred in Mexico City where 42 children’s bodies had been discovered.