Peru is acknowledged by researchers as one of the greatest archeological sites in the world, many remains of the great civilisations and powerful kingdoms that populated this territory in remote past are still scientists’ matter of study.
Reuters informed seventeen tombs belonging to the late Chimu-Incan civilisation have been discovered in Peru, Chotuna-Chornancap, a coastal ruin complex in the arid valleys far north of Lima. Scientists date these tombs back 1000 years. One adult was buried next to the two children whose feet were amputated.
Archaeologists suggest the remains belonged to high rank of society and probably have been sacrificed as there are a lot of damaged on the bodies.
“There is at least one fairly high-status tomb,” said Haagen Klaus, a bioarchaeologist at George Mason University has worked at Chotuna-Chornancap before. Klaus told the Guardian that he hopes to analyze the new finds, discovered by the ruins of a temple, to confirm whether the victims were sacrificed.
“It’s not unusual that sacrifices are made to those individuals, sometimes during the funeral or even years or generations afterward,” he said. “But we can see that a number of the individuals that were buried were children – and that does fit into the larger pattern of ritual sacrifice.”
At the center of the tombs, the archaeologists found a grave with various offerings, including two clay pots, a sculpture of a smiling man and a vessel carved into the shape of a coquero – a person chewing coca leaves. Some of the offerings resembled objects in a large, colorful temple mural, perhaps 700 years old, where anthropomorphized bird warriors march with “what look like severed human heads and vegetable bundles”, Klaus said.
“We study sacrifice not for the gruesome details but because rituals like this tend to be reflections of culture, history, society,” he said. “They provide living windows into rituals that were entwined with economics and politics.”
So far, more than 50 sacrifice victims have been found at Chotuna-Chornancap, spanning hundreds of years and at least three civilizations.