Thursday, June 7, 2012

"Ring of Babies" Buried in Peruvian Tomb

From The National Geographic
A totally misleading headline: 

Pictures: Huge Peru Tomb Found—80 Bodies, Ring of Babies

Bundled Bodies

Photograph courtesy Université libre de Bruxelles

The adult dead in the newfound tomb were found in the fetal position, which may have represented "some kind of rebirth" to the Ychsma, excavation leader Eeckhout said.

About half the bodies in the tomb belonged to babies—signaling either ritual sacrifice or that they'd "died from natural causes and then were deposited in some place until the moment of the foundation of that tomb," Eeckhout said.

Physical evidence of sacrifice, he added, may be hard to spot on the tiny corpses, particularly in cases of suffocation. Signs of sacrifice have been found in the past on very well preserved Pachacamac infant remains, he added. "But in this case it is absolutely not sure."

There's no doubt, though, that animals were sacrificed, Eeckhout said. Guinea pigs appear to have been the favored offerings, but dogs and parts of llamas or alpacas have also been recovered from the tomb.

So, even though they ABSOLUTELY are not sure, the caption to the photo still reads "Mummy bundles, child sacrifices found on pyramid."  Nice disclaimer, dudes.

Article about the ongoing excavations at Pachacamac. 

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