Remains of sacrificed woman found in citadel

Lima - Archeologists in northern Peru have found the remains of a woman who was apparently killed in a 15th-century sacrifice to calm the wrath of nature.

The find was made in Chan Chan, the oldest mud citadel in the Americas, archaeologist Raul Sosaya said on Tuesday. The expert said the skeleton corresponded to a woman who was 1.55 metres tall and aged about 17. She died around the year 1460 and belonged to the Chimu culture.

Archaeologists found the body as they were working on the restoration of the outer walls of Chan Chan, around 600 kilometres north of Lima.

Sosaya said that one of the woman's feet had been amputated before she was hanged and her body thrown out near a wall. The gestures on her face suggest that she screamed before she died, and archaeologists think that she was sacrificed.

From what researchers know of the Chimu culture, the amputation of a foot was meant to prevent the sacrificed person from leaving the site in later lives.

"The ancient Chimus conjured themselves to ask that the rain stop. Today we have the evidence of a sacrifice that sought that climate phenomena did not destroy the monument," said Cristobal Campana, the head of the team of archaeologists.

About 40 per cent of the infrastructure of the Chan Chan site turned to mud in 1982-1983, due to rains from the climate phenomenon known as El Nino. - Sapa-dpa


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