|A child (left) and baby llama (right) were part of the sacrificial killing of more than 140 children and over 200 llamas on the north coast of Peru around A.D. 1450.||Evidence for the largest single incident of mass child sacrifice in the Americas— and likely the world —has been discovered on Peru's northern coast. |
More than 140 children and 200 young llamas appear to have been ritually sacrificed in an event that took place some 550 years ago on a wind-swept bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, in the shadow of the capital of the Chimú Empire. The sacrifice site is located on a low bluff a thousand feet from the sea in Peru's northern Huanchaco district. Half a mile to the east of the site is the UNESCO World Heritage site of Chan Chan, an ancient Chimú administrative center.
|At its peak, the Chimú Empire controlled a 600-mile-long territory along the Pacific coast from the modern Peru-Ecuador border to Lima. Skeletal remains of both children and animals show evidence of cuts to the sternum and rib dislocations, which suggest that the victims' chests were cut open and pulled apart, likely to remove the heart.|