Monday, July 13, 2009
Follow-Up on Those 33 Mummies Found in Peru
We already knew this, but this article gives more specifics about the 33 mummies, the majority of which were young females, who were sacrificed. Peru mummies 'were human sacrifices' 13 July 2009 02:10:00 PM Source: AP/SBS Utah University professor Haagen Klaus is an expert in bio-archaeology and has been analysing and examining the human remains found in 2007 at the Chotuna Huaca, a site located north east of Chiclayo. "(The) majority of them were sacrificed using a very sharp bladed instrument, probably a copper or bronze tummy knife. And for the majority there are a several combinations, complex set of variations on cutting of the throat, " Mr Klaus said. Sacrifices were made "to make sure that there would still be rain and agricultural fertility", Klaus explained. What made the discovery so unusual in the eyes of the experts was that most of the mummies were females. "The blood sacrifice of a large group of women is something that is very, very unusual, it is the first time we have ever seen this", Mr Klaus said. In fact, 30 of the 33 bodies were female and according to Klaus they were all very young when they were sacrificed. The majority hadn't reached 15-years-old and some of the mummies were children no older than nine. Professor Klaus explained that in Andean society children weren't considered human beings. "Children are not human beings because human life comes from mountains. And when a child is born, a child is likened to a wild uncontrollable mountain spirit," Klaus said. [If this is true, when did a "child" become an "adult" in this culture? One of the sacrificed victims was pregnant, according to an earlier report. Isn't that evidence of being an "adult?"] In an excellent state of conservation, many still with their hair and teeth intact, the mummies have provided endless study material for Klaus. He was able to extract DNA, learn about the illnesses they had, their diets, their ages, causes of death and even possible kinships among the mummies.