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Archaeology: "Women in a Temple of Death"

Hillary Ojeda

Six women buried in an unusual manner in ancient Peru lead to new findings, says Archaeology magazine.

Archaeology: "Women in a Temple of Death"

Archaeologists uncover 6 women buried in a sacrificial ceremony circa A.D. 850. (Photo: Facebook/Archaeology Magazine)

Archaeologists specializing in Peru’s north coast were forced to come up with new answers when they unearthed the unexpected.

Contrary to the long-established tradition of ancient societies in the region to kill male prisoners and drink their blood, researchers have found the remains of the bloody sacrifice of six young women in about A.D. 850, reports Archaeology.

Uncovered beneath the floor of a mudbrick temple in Pucalá, just outside of Chiclayo, the remains of six women perplexed archaeologists.

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As demonstrated by evidence, the women, four stacked on top of each other in a single grave, and two others rested nearby, were killed in ritual sacrifice and left in odd positions.

Missing rib bones, it is suspected they were left exposed to vultures, a common practice with bodies of male sacrifice victims, according to archaeologist Edgar Bracamonte of the Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum, reports Archaeology.

The scene presents a unique finding as well for the setting of the ritual.

“They were buried in a ritual space that was surrounded by high walls, indicating a private context,” says the archaeologist.

The burial took place “at a time of great ideological change.”

He explains that the direction in which the women’s bodies were buried, on a east-west axis, demonstrates a transition to the Lambayeque culture and a break from the dying old Moche culture.

Read more about the discovery here.

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