Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bodies of 44 young victims of pagan sacrifice discovered in Peru

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Romans 12:1 (NIV 1984)

While the true God desires His people to offer their bodies as living sacrifices, pagan "gods" often require their devotees to offer human bodies as dead sacrifices. It's unlikely that the perpetrators of the atrocities described below will be prosecuted; these sacrifices to Peruvian pagan "gods" took place in the 14th century. As reported by Agence France-Presse on November 21, 2011:

LIMA -- A Peruvian archeologist on Sunday announced the discovery of the remains of 44 infants and young children sacrificed to appease ancient deities in the 14th century at a site in the high Andes near the border with Bolivia.

The remains were found near a stone funeral tower -- known locally as chullpas -- in the Sillustani archeological site, located some 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) south-east of the capital Lima, near Lake Titicaca, which Peru shares with Bolivia.

"These are children and babies of both sexes, with ages going from newborns to the age of three," archeologist Eduardo Arisaca told local regional media. His remarks were picked up by the daily El Comercio.

The infants were buried in pairs inside funeral baskets or in ceramic urns near a 10 meter (32 feet) tall circular stone brick tower known as Chullpa Lagarto (Lizard Chullpa).

The children were buried with a volcanic stone on their chest, and are surrounded by offerings -- animals, food, dishes, and pitchers. Early research suggests they were sacrificed during a period of warfare.

"The faces of the children point towards the east," where the sun rises, said Arisaca. He estimated the children were buried between 600 and 700 years years ago.

The children also had artificially elongated skulls, common among some nobles of the time.

Up to now the remains of 200 people have been unearthed around the Chullpa Lagarto, Arisaca said.

In September Arisaca announced the discovery of the 700 years-old remains of a two-year-old boy at a separate funeral tower in Sillustani, buried in a ceramic urn along with a dog.

At another funeral tower nearby experts found the remains of 12 adults buried together along with food, ceramics, and animals. Archeologists found sheets of gold attached to the clothing as part of the attire.

The funeral towers are common sights in the high Andean region between Peru and Bolivia, are the burial sites of ancient nobles and community leaders. Most are round towers built of stone, but some are rectangular.

The original article appeared in Spanish in the Lima El Comercio on November 20, 2011.

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