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10th Mar 2022

Remains of ancient ritual sacrifice victims found near 1,000-year-old mummy

Kieran Galpin


They found the mummy but no sign of daddy

Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of 20 people who died from ritual sacrifice alongside a mummy in Peru, South America.

In December of 2021, archaeologists discovered the mummified remains of a person they believed to be between 18 and 22-years-old. Upon closer inspection, they placed his age at around 35 and dubbed him “Chabelo.”


Alongside the mummified remains, researchers discovered the remains of a dog, an Andean guinea pig and various vegetables like corn. They also found the remains of 20 humans believed to have been killed in ritual sacrifice.

While researchers identified the skeletal remains of 12 separate people, they also catalogued eight funeral bundles usually employed when burying babies following ritual sacrifice. The theory was backed up by analysis that revealed fractures and other echoes of violence.

“We know that Andean societies had a series of funerary practices, rituals, and from their worldview, they had a way of seeing the world that was completely different from ours,” explained Pieter Van Dalen Luna, an archaeology professor at the National University of San Marcos.”The conception of death was very important to them; it was a parallel world, the abode of the dead.”

The team is looking to run DNA analysis and radiocarbon dating to discover a more timeline and learn more about the dead.

Archaeologists say they have only explored around one per cent of the area that used to be the city of Cajamarquilla. Around 1,000 years ago, the area was a hub of humanity and had four pyramids, drawing people in from the coast and mountains to trade with the people of Cajamarquilla.


With no trace of a singular writing system, researchers are having to rely on what is unearthed to understand more. With so much area still left to explore, it would be fair to assume that this landmark discovery will not be the last.

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