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Remains of children and adults sacrificed 1,200 years ago found in Peru

Remains of children and adults sacrificed 1,200 years ago found in Peru.

Archaeologists in Peru have unearthed eight children and 12 adults who appear to have been sacrificed around 800-1,200 years ago in a major dig at the pre-Incan Cajamarquilla complex 25 km east of the country’s capital Lima.

Archaeologist Pieter Van Dalen said at a press conference on Tuesday that  the bodies, some mummified and others skeletons, were wrapped in various layers of textiles as part of an ancient ritual. They were laid by the side of the main mummy which appeared to be that of the ruler or prominent noble.

"For them, death was not the end, but rather a transition to a parallel world where the dead lived. They thought that the souls of the dead became protectors of the living," Van Dalen explained.

He said the burial pattern was the same as the tomb of the Lord of Sipan, a ruler from 1,700 years ago found along with children and adults sacrificed to be buried with him.

"As part of the ritual, evidence of violence has been found in some of the individuals," a Reuters report quoted him as saying.

 Along with funeral items there were musical artifacts such as the "zampona," a wind instrument of Andean origin with several wooden tubes in the form of flutes that were also found.