A team of archaeologists has found the remains of 227 children sacrificed in accordance with the rituals of the pre-Columbian civilization of Kim, which existed in northern Peru until the end of the 15th century, which is an unprecedented discovery in the world.
“It is the largest site of child sacrifice,” said archaeologist Feren Castillo, adding that excavations began in 2018 at the Pampa la Cruz site in the coastal resort of Huanchaco, about 700 kilometers north of Lima.
Children between the ages of four and 14 were ritually killed and offered as sacrifices to the Kimu gods to alleviate their anger, which the Kim people held responsible for the natural disasters associated with the El Niño climate phenomenon.
Evidence was also found that very heavy rain was falling at the time of the sacrifice.
“Wherever we dig, we find another child, buried facing the ocean,” Castillo said. Some of the bodies found still have skin and hair and wear silver jewelry.
Uanchako was the site of several mass child sacrifices during the Kimu Empire. A tomb with 56 children was found in June 2018, also in Pampa la Cruz, while not far from there, at the Wanchacito site, a tomb with 140 bodies of children and 200 young llamas was found in April of the same year.
“Uanchako was definitely the place of sacrifice,” Castillo said.
The Kimu Empire reached its peak between 900 and 1450, on the northern coast of Peru all the way to present-day Ecuador, and ended in 1475 with the fall of the Incas, some fifty years before the arrival of the first Spanish conquistadors in Peru.