Peru: Up to three child sacrifice ceremonies reported in Pampa La Cruz

11:41 | Trujillo (La Libertad region), Aug. 28.

Up to three Chimu child sacrifice ceremonies —dating back between the Median Chimu period (1200-1250 AD) and Inca times (1500-1520 AD)— might have been performed in the archaeological zone of Pampa La Cruz, located in Huanchaco district of La Libertad region.

This information was released by Gabriel Prieto, head of the Huanchaco Archaeological Project, who claimed that the superposition of bodies, the way they were buried, as well as the textiles and artifacts found in the place reinforce such hypothesis.

The Huanchaco-native researcher and his team found skeletal remains of 95 children aged between 6 and 15 years, which added to the 132 found in 2018, bring a total of 227.

According to Prieto, the first sacrifice event is thought to have occurred sometime between 1200 and 1250 AD, the second between 1400 and 1450 AD, while the third and last one between 1500 and 1520 AD.

The archaeologist went on to say that no El Niño phenomenon-related evidence has been found so far, so the sacrifices are thought to have been offerings to the Sea Goddess or to celebrate some victory.


"We have found Lambayeque-style artifacts and that Chimu people were conquering territories in the north at around the same time, so, these sacrifices may have aimed to bring about good battles or to commemorate triumphs," he explained.

Nevertheless, why the Chimu people sacrificed children and when this tradition began remains a mystery to Prieto and his team.

"Children are the most precious treasure a society can possess because they represent its future; however, we want to know what led the Chimu people start sacrificing them, since the Mochicas sacrificed adults, not minors," he underscored.

To the researcher, the answer to this question lies in Pampa La Cruz, which houses the oldest Chimu child sacrifice in the entire Moche Valley (1250 AD), even older than those found in Huanchaquito.


Published: 8/28/2019
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