Mass Child Sacrifice Site In Ancient Peru May Be Linked To El Niño Event


A few months ago the discovery of 132 sacrificed children between the ages 5 and 15 shook the archaeological world since a mass-sacrifice site this large had never been discovered before on Earth.

Nevertheless, scientists now hold the theory that this event might have been linked to the El Niño event.

“Uncovered at a site near Huanchaco, on the northwest coast of Peru, the mass grave site is dated between 1400-1450AD and was also home to the skeletal remains of 206 llamas – animals which were considered extremely valuable as sources of food and transport”, 9 News explained.

One of the site’s archaeologist, Gabriel Prieto, said that this sacrifice could have taken place to halt the catastrophic weather associated with El Niño.

El Niño is a climate cycle in the Pacific Ocean with a global impact on weather patterns (…) it begins when warm water in the western tropical Pacific Ocean shifts eastward along the equator toward the coast of South America. Normally, this warm water pools near Indonesia and the Philippines. During an El Niño, the Pacific’s warmest surface waters sit offshore of northwestern South America,” Live Science explains.

Prieto believes that the sacrifice was made to the gods to stop the devastating rains and floods. The children were killed with a knife to the chest and buried, which was unusual for the Chimú culture, who burned their dead in an upright position.

“Researchers believe the large slab of ancient, dried–up mud in which the children were buried is the biggest clue to suggest the killings were made to appease the gods during an El Niño event”, 9 News wrote.

At its peak, the Chimú Empire controlled a 600-mile-long territory along the Pacific coast and interior valleys from the modern Peru-Ecuador border to Lima.

(Cover Photo Archive)

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Ermelinda is a journalist from Caracas, Venezuela. She has a Master’s degree in Digital Journalism and a technical degree in Veterinary Assistance she pursued because of her love for animals. She likes to do sports, but especially ballet, which she has practiced for almost 20 years. Her passion is to read, write, and blog about different topics, as well as travel whenever she can.