Archaeologists in Peru have unearthed what is believed to be the largest single mass child sacrifice in history.
The gruesome find of bodies of 227 victims, aged between five and 14, were found near the coastal town of Huanchaco, located about 350 miles north of Peru’s capital Lima, reported BBC News.
The children were believed to have been sacrificed over 500 years ago.
The discovery comes barely a year after 200 child victims of human sacrifice were found at two other sites in the country by archaeologists.
Researchers believe the sacrifices made by the indigenous Chimu people occurred more than five centuries ago.
Archaeologists told AFP news agency that some of the bodies in this latest collection still had hair and skin when they were dug up.
In an earlier archaeologists dig, these skeletons were discovered in Huanchaquito, near modern-day Trujillo, also believed to be relics of human sacrifice
Amazingly, scientists were able to discern that the children were likely murdered during wet weather, and were buried facing the sea — potentially to appease the gods.
The Chimu worshiped Shi, a moon god that they believed was more mighty than the sun, and made sacrifices and offerings during spiritual rituals.
Archaeologists believe even more bodies could be found as excavation continues at the mass burial site.
“It’s uncontrollable, this thing with the children,” said chief archaeologist Feren Castillo. “Wherever you dig, there’s another one.”
This latest mass discovery of corpses comes one year after 200 young victims of human sacrifice were discovered at two other sites in Peru. The unprecedented discovery, supported by grants from the National Geographic Society, was unveiled on their website.
In one of the earlier finds the remains of more than 140 children who were sacrificed at about the same time in Peru’s northern coastal region, about 550 years ago was uncovered.
That discovery was made near modern-day Trujillo, which lies near the center of the ancient Chimú civilization.
The Chimu, who lived along Peru’s northern coast of the Pacific Ocean, were one of the Americas’ most dominating civilizations. Between 1200 and 1400, they reached prominence before they were conquered by the mighty Incas. Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro captured Inca emperor Atahualpa in 1532 and executed the ruler the