Caracas , Jul 16: Archaeologists have found evidence that a woman from the Chimu culture was buried alive in the 15th century at the Chan Chan archaeological complex in Peru to ameliorate the various effects of what we today call the El Nino weather phenomenon.
"This is the first time that evidence has been found that some people from the epoch were buried alive to prevent, in this case, the actions of El Nino from having effects on the city of mud," said Cristobal Campana from Peru's National Institute of Culture (INC).
According to a report in Latin American Herald Tribune, the skeletal remains of the woman, who was in her early 20s, were found during work to restructure the western perimeter wall of the Nain An (House of the birds) palace, which is part of the Chan Chan mud citadel.
The archaeological complex is recognized by the United Nations as a World Heritage Site, but it is also on the list of imperiled sites because of the fragility of its structures due to the effect of the rains and intense heat in the region.
Chan Chan is one of the most important ceremonial centers in northern Peru.
The skeletal remains are of a woman who stood 1.55 meters (5 feet) tall, who was strangled and buried alive, from the position of her arms and jaw, which reflect her final desperate struggle to free herself from the fabric tied around her throat, according to Campana.
In addition, the victim had had both feet amputated in the same manner that the Chimu did with other sacrificial victims at another palace in the same region.
According to Campana, the remains will be removed this week from inside a structure that is protecting them from sun and rain, and they will be taken for further study to the INC laboratory in the province of La Libertad, where Chan Chan is located.