Sunday, October 6, 2002

Chimu sacrifice

The ancient sacrificed remains of 200 fishermen have been excavated from a beach in Peru. Archaeologists believe they were kneeling, tied and blindfolded, facing the waves, then stabbed through the heart... Of the 200 bodies, 107 were found intact. Many are arched backward, as if in their death throes. "It's impressive to think that, even though 600 years have gone by, the pain and anguish these people went through when they died can be seen in the cadavers and even the outlines they left in the sand," Walde told Reuters. Near to the bodies, Walde's team found jugs filled with grains and drinks, a fishing net and other everyday items.

I really loved my mortuary archaeology class with Andrzej Weber, who landed a huge grant last year to work on a Neolithic burial site near Lake Baikal, Siberia. He taught me to be very careful about how mortuary remains are interpreted. And yeah, I still read Archaeology every month.

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