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The remains are the earliest evidence of ritualized blood sacrifice and mutilation of children that has so far been seen in the South American Andes, according to study leader Haagen Klaus.
Seeds of a paralytic and hallucinogenic plant called Nectandra, which also prevents blood clotting, were found with the skeletons, suggesting the children were drugged before their throats were slit and their chests cut open. During the sacrifices, sharp bronze knives were used to hack the children to death. One skeleton had more than 25 cut marks on it. A few had their hands and legs bound with rope. "It is so beyond what is necessary to kill a person. It really gives you the chills," Klaus, an anthropologist at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah, told National Geographic News. "But we are trying to understand this on their terms, not ours."
Eighty-two skeletons of the Muchik people—including 32 that were mostly or completely intact—have been discovered since 2003 at the Cerro Cerillos site in the Lambayeque Valley on Peru's arid northern coast.
After the bloodletting was over, the children were allowed to mummify in the desert air for at least a month, the study concluded. Empty fly pupa were found with the kids' remains, indicating that maggots ate their flesh during natural decomposition. In ancient beliefs, the hatched fly carried deceased children's souls away and signified a reverent burial, according to Klaus.
More than 80 sacrifices from A.D. 900 to 1100 were carried out by the Muchik people, who occupied the northern coast after the fall of the Moche. The Moche were independently governed agricultural societies that ruled the region from about A.D. 100 to 800. (Read more about the Moche: "Odd Pyramid Had Rooftop Homes, Ritual Sacrifices?"). The Moche culture's political and religious ideology had started to disintegrate around A.D. 550, in the wake of a devastating El Niño, a cyclical phenomenon that can dramatically alter climate.
The Muchik were able to develop their own rituals despite their rule by the ethnically distinct Sicán people, which began in A.D. 900. While the Sicán also conducted human sacrifice, the methods of killing and settings contrast with those of the Muchik, Klaus said.
Originally posted by freedish
reply to post by anon72
And people wonder why God ordered the slaughter of whole villages...they were doing horrible sacrifices like this....abusing woman...and doing horrible sins... I can only imagine what kind of suffering those children went through. These tribes were probably demon possessed.
Originally posted by mamelukkikala
How exactly did they come to the conclusion that they were sacrificed? Why can't they be just murdered?
Originally posted by anon72
reply to post by OhZone
Are you in compliance with T&C with all of this posting -the way you did it? Seems like it should be identified as external text.
And, for me. Enough with the bible quotes. Tell us what you think. IMO.
Originally posted by Stormdancer777
reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
I don't think we will ever know what was inside their minds, I tried to take it back as far as historical documentation would take me, but nothing definite.