Washington, Dec 24 (ANI): According to a new study, 82 skeletons, some of which are of children, have been discovered in Peru. Some of these are with signs of throats slit and chests opened.
The find indicates ritual bloodletting sacrifice and mutilation of children t a thousand years ago according to study leader Haagen Klaus.
The team also found seeds of plant called Nectandra, which has paralytic and hallucinogenic effects and causes blood clotting, suggesting the children were drugged before their throats were slit and their chests cut open.
"It is so beyond what is necessary to kill a person. It really gives you the chills. But we are trying to understand this on their terms, not ours," National Geographic News quoted Klaus at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah, as saying.
"When the Muchik began to sacrifice children, it's possible they were not sacrificing people in their eyes, as strange as it sounds," he said.
After the ritual, the children were mummified in the desert air for at least a month. The team found empty fly pupa with the kids' remains, indicating that maggots ate their flesh during natural decomposition.
Llama remains were also found with the bodies, suggesting "solemn and very serious" funeral feasts that included llama meat, Klaus noted.
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 - agricultural societies that ruled the region from about A.D. 100 to 800.
The Muchik were able to develop their own rituals despite their rule by the ethnically distinct Sicn people, which began in A.D. 900, he said.
Edward Swenson, an archaeologist at the University of Toronto in Canada who studies the Moche, said Klaus's argument is fascinating but questioned the argument that the grisly acts were purely an evolution of Moche ideologies during Sican rule.
"Archaeologists have a tendency to reduce ritual to ... political control or resistance. Obviously, there is much more to religion than simply political ideology," he said. (ANI)