Human sacrifices in Peru

The Wari culture flourished in Peru from 500 to 1000 AD. It was known for its fine weavings and sculpted pottery. Also for their roads, later incorporated into the roads of the Inca Empire. But some rituals practiced by them have also left their mark. Human sacrifices in pre-Hispanic Peru have to do with the latter.

Human sacrifices in Peru have a long history.
Human sacrifices in Peru have a long history.

Thousand-year-old human offerings

In the waris, religion was deeply intertwined with politics. Women were included in the highest positions for the government of this civilization. A team of archaeologists discovered some ritual offerings of the Wari civilization. It was during excavations in the Peruvian region of Lambayeque. The discovery includes several skeletons. Two of them belonged to children.

Altogether there were 29 skeletons. They would have been buried approximately 1,000 years ago. Their death, apparently, was an offering at Huaca Santa Rosa de Pucalá. The archaeological site is in the Lambayeque region of northeastern Peru.

Four of the skeletons, details LiveSciencebelonged to two children, an adolescent and an adult. In addition, there were skeletons of eight guinea pigs. And remains of several llamas and alpacas that were probably also sacrificed as offerings. There were pots, bottles and a knife with a crescent-shaped blade.

Other American cultures, such as the Aztecs, also made human offerings.
Other American cultures, such as the Aztecs, also made human offerings.

Pre-Columbian ritual

The enclosures where the remains lay are “D” shaped. It is typical in the religious spaces of the Wari civilization. This is the first evidence of human offerings known from this culture. Human sacrifices in Peru had been proven in other cultures before.

“It is perhaps a ritual at the time of initiating the construction of these religious spaces.” The director of the excavation and archaeologist Edgar Bracamonte Lévano points out.

Death and its rituals know no distinction in the pre-Columbian world. The Olmecs, Mayas and Aztecs practiced them. But also the Mochicas and Incas, in Peru.

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