Inequality drove ancient Peruvians to child sacrifice





Sacrifice is an age-old ritual, but the inhabitants of 10th-century Peru brought sinister novelty to their rites by slaughtering children.

In the Lambayeque valley on the north coast of the country, the earliest definitive evidence of ritual child sacrifice has been uncovered. The bloodletting took place at a site called Cerro Cerrillos.

"The scale and sheer complexity of the blood sacrifice of children at Cerro Cerrillos appears to be something completely new," said Haagen Klaus of Utah Valley University in Orem.

This practice, which emerged between 900 and 1100 AD, may have been a way for a particular ethnic group – the Muchik – to solidifying their cultural identity in a landscape dominated by another, elite ethnic group, the Sicán....

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