A mass sacrifice of children and camelids at the Huanchaquito-Las Llamas site, Moche Valley, Peru
A mass sacrifice of children and camelids at the Huanchaquito-Las Llamas site, Moche Valley, Peru
Gabriel PrietoID 0 1 3
John W. Verano 1 3
Nicolas GoepfertID 1 3
Douglas Kennett 1 3
Jeffrey Quilter 1 3
Steven LeBlanc 1 3
Lars Fehren-SchmitzID 1 3
Jannine Forst 1 3
Mellisa Lund 1 3
Brittany Dement 1 3
Elise Dufour 1 2 3
Olivier Tombret 1 2 3
Melina CalmonID 1 3
Davette Gadison 1 3
Khrystyne Tschinkel 1 3
0 Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad Nacional de Trujillo, Trujillo, Peru, 2 Department of Anthropology, Tulane University , New Orleans, LA , United Sates of America, 3 CNRS, UMR 8096 Arch e ?ologie des Am e ?riques (CNRS-Paris1) , Nanterre , France , 4 Department of Anthropology, Penn State College of the Liberal Arts, University Park, PA, United States of America, 5 Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University , Cambridge, MA , United States of America , 6 UCSC Paleogenomics Laboratories , Department of Anthropology, University of California Santa Cruz , Santa Cruz, CA , United States of America, 7 Comit e ? Internacional de la Cruz Roja (CICR) , Miraflores, Lima- Peru
1 Editor: David Caramelli, University of Florence , ITALY
2 Sorbonne Universit e ?s, Mus e ?um national d'histoire naturelle, CNRS , Paris , France
3 Funding: Funded by National Science Foundation's Arctic Social Science Research Program (Grant No. 1152156). Wenner-Gren Foundation (SC-14-62). National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration (Grants 9521-14 , 9830- 15, and 9894-16). CAMELANDES project (ANR-15- CE27-0002-01) INNOVATE PERU 354-15. CNRS: PEPS ECOCAM grant: Nicolas Goepfert Agence Nationale de la Recherche: LabEx ANR-10-LABX-
Here we report the results of excavation and interdisciplinary study of the largest child and camelid sacrifice known from the New World. Stratigraphy, associated artifacts, and radiocarbon dating indicate that it was a single mass killing of more than 140 children and over 200 camelids directed by the Chimu? state, c. AD 1450. Preliminary DNA analysis indicates that both boys and girls were chosen for sacrifice. Variability in forms of cranial modification (head shaping) and stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen suggest that the children were a heterogeneous sample drawn from multiple regions and ethnic groups throughout the Chimu? state. The Huanchaquito-Las Llamas mass sacrifice opens a new window on a previously unknown sacrificial ritual from fifteenth century northern coastal Peru. While the motivation for such a massive sacrifice is a subject for further research, there is archaeological evidence that it was associated with a climatic event (heavy rainfall and flooding) that could have impacted the economic, political and ideological stability of one of the most pow-
Data Availability Statement: All relevant data are
within the manuscript.
erful states in the New World during the fifteenth century A.D.
Human and animal sacrifices were made by various societies in ancient world. In Prehispanic
Peru, individuals were killed and placed in tombs to accompany important persons in the
afterlife, buried as dedicatory offerings in monumental architecture, and sacrificed in various
contexts as gifts to the gods [
]. Captives were taken in small-scale raiding and organized
warfare, and killed in both formal rituals and impromptu reprisals [
]. Camelids also were
0003-BCDiv: Elise Dufour Agence Nationale de la
Recherche: ANR-11-IDEX-0004-02: Elise Dufour
Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American
Studies, Tulane University: 2014: John W. Verano.
Carol Lavin Bernick Faculty Grant Program (Tulane
University).: 2015-2016: John W. Verano.
Competing interests: The authors have declared
that no competing interests exist.
sacrificed and deposited in burials as grave goods, buried as foundation or votive offerings and
in other propitiatory contexts [
]. In recent years, human and animal sacrifice has become
an active area of research for bioarchaeologists and zooarchaeologists working in the Andean
]. The results of recent excavations at the Huanchaquito-Las Llamas site (also
known as ?Gramalote A?) provide evidence of a previously unknown ritual involving a
massive sacrifice of children and camelids by the Chimu? State, c. AD 1450.
The late intermediate period
The Late Intermediate Period (LIP, c. 900?1500 A.D.) was an unstable time in Peruvian North
Coast prehistory marked by warfare and massacres as emergent polities fought for political,
economic and religious control of the region. Archaeological evidence of conflict and
subjugation includes a massacre at Punta Lobos in the Casma littoral of the Peruvian North Coast,
where as many as 200 victims (children, adults and elderly) were executed during the military
expansion of the Chimu? state into the southern Casma region around AD 1350 [
Excavations at the Chimu? capital of Chan Chan in the 1970s encountered the remains of hundreds of
young women who were sacrificed to accompany their kings in royal burial platforms located
in the palaces of Chan Chan [
]. Recent archaeological research at various archaeological
sites north of the Casma and Moche valleys also has documented a growing number of human
sacrifices dating between the 11th and 15th centuries AD in the Lambayeque region, at
monumental sites and in isolated locations such as hilltops [
16, 14, 15
The chim u? state
The Chimu? state flourished between the 11th and 15th centuries AD, dominating a broad
expanse of the Peruvian coast. At its apogee, it controlled coastal valleys as far north as the
present-day border of Peru and Ecuador and to the south as far as the present day Peruvian
capital of Lima, encompassing more than 1000 kilometers of the Peruvian coastline (Fig 1).
There is increasing evidence that Chimu? territorial control extended into the neighboring
highlands. The abundance of macaw and other tropical bird feathers in the ritual
paraphernalia of the Chimu? elite as well as the presence of toxic seeds from the same region (Nectandra sp
and Tevethia peruviana), suggest that the Chimu? exchange network reached as far eastward as
the cloud forest and eastern slopes of the Andes [
]. Chimu? hegemony was supported by
intensive agriculture, with fields fed by a sophisticated web of hydraulic canals managed by an
efficient bureaucracy. Crops and sumptuary goods were transported to well-organized storage
facilities in cities and provincial administrative centers [
].Chan Chan is the name given
today to the ancient capital of the Chimu? state. It is located in the northern margin of the
Moche valley, only a few miles away from the modern city of Trujillo. Chan Chan was one of
the largest urban settlements of the Americas, and includes large palaces built by the successive
kings, as well as administrative compounds, plazas, cemeteries, gardens, and temples linked by
a network of internal roads [
]. Although today the surviving ruins of Chan Chan cover
approximately 14 square kilometers, the city was once substantially larger; approximately six
square kilometers of the site has been destroyed by modern agricultural and urban expansion.
Additional shrines, satellite settlements and other structures were located on the outskirts of
the city as well [
]. The strategic location of Chan Chan between the Pacific Ocean, wetlands,
agricultural fields, desert and mountains, suggest that its builders envisioned it as dynamically
interacting with the landscape, integrating these elements into the rituals performed within
and around the city?s walls [
2 / 29
Fig 1. Map of the north coast of peru showing the extent of the chimu? state and the geographic location of the huanchaquito-las llamas site.
Infant and child sacrifice is claimed to have been practiced by many ancient societies, although
archaeological evidence of intentional killing is often lacking, making these interpretations
subject to debate. Old World archaeological evidence of child sacrifice is less than convincing
in many cases [
], and in North America and Mesoamerica the evidence is frequently
ambiguous as well , although there are a growing number of convincing examples from
the Maya area [
]. The most well-documented archaeological evidence of child sacrifice
in the New World is known from Offering 48 at the Templo Mayor in the Mexica city of
The motivations for human sacrifice and the choice of sacrificial victims varied among
ancient societies, but anthropologists have noted that children?s bodies frequently are
considered as hybrid entities [
], and thus may have been viewed as particularly appropriate as
messengers or gifts to the gods [
In Andean South America, sacrifices of children are known to have been made by the Inca
and by some societies that came before them. Although no archaeological evidence has been
found to confirm ethnohistoric accounts claiming that large numbers of children were
sacrificed by the Inca on particular occasions, such as the death or coronation of an Inca ruler [
a small number of child sacrifices have been recovered on high mountaintops in recent
decades in excavations conducted by international research teams [
]. Examples of Inca
child sacrifices also have been reported from the Cuzco region and north coast of Peru .
These discoveries have provided an opportunity to directly compare archaeological evidence
3 / 29
to ethnohistoric accounts of the Inca practice of ?Capacocha? mountain sacrifices, and some
innovative analytical methods have been employed to examine questions such as the
geographic origin and life histories of the children and the source of offerings buried with them
Child sacrifice in northern coastal peru
Until the Huanchaquito-Las Llamas discovery there was very little archaeological evidence of
human sacrifices on the north coast of Peru that included only [
]. Ethnohistoric sources
likewise are limited to an account by the Spanish Friar Antonio de la Calancha, who claimed that
child sacrifices were made by the Chimu? in the Jequetepeque river valley during lunar eclipses,
along with offerings of fruits, maize beer and colored cottons. Calancha also told the story of a
local healer named ?Mollep? near the Jequetepeque valley who sacrificed children to sacred
places or ?guacas? [
Archaeological discoveries of retainer and dedicatory burials and sacrificed captives have
been made at multiple sites on the north coast [
2, 6, 45
], as well as sacrificial offerings that
include a mix of children, adolescents, and adults [
], but until recently only one possible
example a sacrifice containing only children and camelids was known. In 1969, excavations in
the seaside town of Huanchaco by archaeologist Christopher Donnan encountered the
remains of seventeen children and twenty camelids buried together in simple pits without
funerary offerings [
]. Although osteological analysis was not done to determine possible
cause of death, on the basis of their archaeological context, demographic profile, and atypical
burial pattern, Donnan concluded that the burials probably were sacrificial offerings. A
radiocarbon date placed the event at circa AD 1400 (UCLA-1879), during the Chimu? domination of
the North Coast [
]. No other reports of child sacrifices in the region were made until the
discovery at Huanchaquito-Las Llamas, leaving this early find as an intriguing, but isolated case.
Camelid sacrifice in northern coastal peru
Camelids were the principal animals used for sacrifices in the Central Andean region during
Prehispanic times. Although some ritual deposits of camelids are known from as early as the
Late Preceramic (prior to 1800 BC) at the Temple of Crossed Hands at Kotosh [
sacrifice of camelids dramatically increased during the Early Intermediate Period (c. 100?600 AD),
particularly in the Moche culture of northern Peru [
]. The most common pattern is the
inclusion of whole camelids or body parts (preferentially skull and leg extremities) as funerary
offerings. In tombs, they played both alimentary and symbolic functions. Mass sacrifices of
camelids are rare; usually restricted to less than ten animals. However, a few examples of mass
burials are known. At the site of Cahuachi in the Nazca valley in the Southern Coast of Peru,
64 whole camelids were discovered in a single context [
] and at least 88 camelid skulls were
found in a Moche context at the site of San Jose de Moro, Jequetepeque Valley, on the North
Coast of Peru [
During the Chimu? occupation of the Moche Valley, complete camelids were deposited
alone or together with humans in tombs and in storage facilities at the Huaca de la Luna and at
Chan Chan [
]. However, the early discovery by Donnan and Foote in the late 1960?s and
the present case described here suggest that Huanchaco served as a particular focus of child
and camelid sacrificial offerings.
Materials and methods
The archaeological materials described in this paper (specimen inventory numbers for human
bones: E01 to E140, camelids: CA01 to CA200 and artifacts: Ce01, Ce02, Ot01 and Ot02) are
4 / 29
currently housed at the deposits of the Chan Chan Museum and Huaca El Dragon storage
facilities, both managed by the Ministry of Culture in Trujillo (Peru). The permits to conduct
archaeological excavations at Huanchaquito Las Llamas and to export archaeological materials
to conduct specialized analysis were granted by the Peruvian Ministry of Culture
(RD022-DGPC-VMPCIC/MC, June 13th, 2011; RD-009-2012-VMPCIC/MC, February 24th, 2012;
RD-146-2014-DGPA-VMPCIC/MC, April 1st, 2014; RD-111-2014-VMPCIC/MC, October
22nd, 2014 and RD-092 2016-DGPA-VMPCIC/MC. March 14th, 2016). The archaeological
specimens are publicly deposited at the Site Museum of Chan Chan and the Storage Facility
located in the Huaca del Dragon Archaeological Site both managed by the Ministry of Culture
in Trujillo (Peru) and accessible to the scientific team members and to any authorized
The huanchaquito-las llamas sacrificial site
The archaeological site of Huanchaquito-Las Llamas (hereafter abbreviated as HLL) is located
in the Department of La Libertad, Province of Trujillo, District of Huanchaco, in northern
coastal Peru (UTM coordinates: 9?104,494.00 N? 708.824.00 E) (Figs 1 and 2). The site, located
350 meters from the shoreline, is a deposit of windblown beach sand covering the lower flank
of marine terrace that reaches a height of approximately eleven meters above sea level and is
located 2 miles north of the city of Chan Chan. The site is delimited on the south by modern
construction and to the north by an area used as a disposal area for construction debris and
refuse. In the late 1990s, the western portion of the site was cut through by heavy machinery
during construction of a road. It can be assumed that a substantial, but unknown quantity of
cultural materials buried along the margins of the site have been lost because of construction
In 2011, in response to reports from local residents that human and camelids bones were
eroding out of the roadside dunes, Prieto requested permission from Peru?s Ministry of
Culture to conduct an emergency excavation to recover materials in danger of destruction
through erosion and continued construction activities [
]. Excavations revealed no evidence
of architecture or ancient habitation refuse, but encountered a concentration of burial pits
containing the remains of 43 children and 74 camelids that based on radiocarbon
determinations dated to the Late Intermediate Period (c. AD 1450) Chimu? occupation of the north coast
Archaeological context indicated that the children and camelids buried at HLL were
sacrificial victims. Unusual burial positions and a lack of any associated grave goods suggested that
this was not a typical Chimu? burial ground. In addition, analysis of ten of the children?s
skeletons found that half of them had cuts transecting the sternum [
]. This, in conjunction with
field observations of displaced ribs suggested that the chest had been cut open, perhaps to
extract the heart. Similar cut marks were found on the ribs and sterna of many of the camelid
skeletons as well [
In 2014 and 2016 funding was obtained to do further excavation at the site and to perform a
detailed analysis of the human and camelids skeletons recovered in 2011, along with those
excavated in 2014 and 2016. The original excavation area was expanded by six additional units
(Fig 3). Excavations in 2014 and 2016 effectively tripled the number of sacrificial victims,
resulting in a final count of 140 individuals (137 children and 3 adults) and 200 camelids. The
three adult skeletons found in 2014 at HLL are distinctive, not only for their age at death but
also for their manner of death and the burial position of the two females (E59, 20?30 years old;
E69, 18 years old). Unlike the HLL children they do not have cut sterna or spread ribs,
indicating that their chests were not opened. One of the females appears to have died from a blow to
5 / 29
Fig 2. Child and camelid skeletons buried in windblown sand at the HLL site. Note that all the burials were excavated to relatively the same depth.
the back of the head; the other suffered blunt force trauma to the face, but no cause of death
was identifiable from the skeleton. The adult male (E91, 30?40 years old) has fractures of
multiple ribs, although it is not clear whether they are perimortem or postmortem fractures
produced by the weight of a pile of rocks that was placed over the body when it was buried; no
cause of death could be identified. Both females were buried crouched on their knees, face
down, while the male was buried extended on his back. All three were placed in close
proximity to one another and to sacrificed children at the northwest margin of the site, and thus they
appear to have been associated with the sacrificial event.
The total number of young individuals is higher if we count incomplete remains recovered
from areas disturbed by recent human activity at the site.
Complete excavation of the site indicates that the children and camelids were buried in an
area of approximately 700 square meters (50 meters N-S axis and 14 meters E-W axis). The
southern, northern and western edges of the site have been severely impacted by modern
construction, destroying the human and animal contexts (Fig 2). Nevertheless, our excavations
confirmed that the bulk of the sacrificial victims (both human and animal) were concentrated
in the central portion of the site. Although a first impression would suggest a continuous
distribution of the sacrificial victims, there are four identifiable clusters of human and animals,
not only two as was originally suggested based on excavations done during the initial field
6 / 29
Detailed study of the body positions of the children as well as age at death and form of
cranial deformation do not reveal identifiable patterns that distinguish the four clusters from one
another. A similar observation was made for the camelids, suggesting some other explanation
for the four distinct clusters of burials. Some consistent patterns in burial position and
differential treatment of children and camelids were noted, however. Preliminary analysis suggests
that humans and camelids were buried following a strict order in which most of the children
faced to the northwest (the sea) and camelids toward the mountains [
]. The children were
wrapped in simple plain weave cotton shrouds and were buried in one of three body positions:
resting on their backs with lower extremities flexed, flexed resting on one side and extended
on the back. Children often were buried in groups of three and placed by increasing age from
youngest to oldest. Some children received special treatment before being sacrificed. Some had
their faces painted with a red cinnabar-based pigment, and others (primarily older children)
wore distinctive cotton headdresses (Fig 4). Camelids were carefully accommodated next to or
on top of the human bodies. In many cases camelids of contrasting colors (brown and beige)
were buried together, placed in different orientations (Fig 5).
Along the east side of the four identified burial clusters lay a dried mud surface. It appears
that this deposit of mud originally covered the entire site, but the excavation of burial pits for
the sacrificial victims and the apparent heavy transit during the sacrificial event may have
destroyed portions of it. This was suggested by the presence of numerous fragments of dried
mud in areas where the surface was not intact. Only a few children and camelids were buried
on the eastern portion of the site, and in this area the mud was well preserved. Well-preserved
human, camelid and dog foot prints were made on this mud surface while it was still wet
7 / 29
Fig 3. Maps of the distribution of children (n = 137 + 3 adults) and camelids (n = 200).
(Fig 6). Some of the human footprints are identifiable as impressions of adult sandals while
smaller footprints were made by children who walked barefoot (no sandals were found with
the sacrificial victims). The size and shape of the camelid footprints match well with the
estimated size of a young camelid hoof, suggesting that the animals who marked their transit
through the site were sacrificial victims. The orientation of the footprints indicates that at least
two large groups of children and camelids came from the northern and southern sides of the
site to meet at the center of the sacrificial area. From there, the sacrifice presumably was
conducted and the human and animal bodies placed in burial pits excavated through the mud
layer. On a few cases, some children and camelids were left on the surface of the mud layer
which was still in the process drying. These data suggest that the sacrificial event took place
shortly after a heavy rain and flood event that covered the entire surface of the sand dune with
a layer of mud, clay and gravel.
An aerial photograph taken in 1942 shows the presence of at least two dry erosional
channels that extend from the top of the bluff to the area where the children and camelids were
sacrificed. Preliminary analysis of the soil sediments found directly over the clean sand of the site
8 / 29
Fig 4. A typical child burial laying on its back with the legs flexed. Note the cloth on the head. The body was placed facing northwest, toward the ocean.
suggests that the gravel and type of clay deposited are identical to the ones found on top of the
bluff. Subsequent excavations identified water courses on the northern and southern limits of
the site, confirming that the dry erosional channels observed in the 1942 aerial photograph
were active during the climatic event of the fifteen century AD.
Associated ceramics and wood implements
Although no offerings were found directly associated with the child and camelids deposits, a
pair of ceramic jars and wooden paddles were found buried at the northern margin of the
sacrificial site, accompanied by a single camelid. One jar was a black reduction-fired vessel
decorated on its neck with a human face and two Spondylus shells. The jar appears to have been
broken intentionally prior to burial, as it was found in numerous small pieces. The second jar,
an undecorated oxidation-fired vessel was found next to the first. It was complete, with a sedge
rope tied around its neck. The two wooden paddles were found near the ceramic vessels. Their
function has been identified through Chimu? art and through the contexts in which they have
been found at other Chimu? sites. A Chimu? wooden architectural model depicting a funerary
procession includes a depiction of individuals preparing a beverage on large ceramic vessels
using wooden paddles, and at a contemporaneous site located in the northern Jequetepeque
Valley, a Chimu? brewery where ceramic vessels were carefully buried with wooden paddles on
top of them was found by Prieto [
]. The ceramic vessels and wooden paddles found at HLL
9 / 29
Fig 5. A light-brown camelid laying on top of a human body. Like most of the camelids, the hair is very well preserved.
thus appear to be associated with the production and perhaps consumption of maize beer or
chicha as part of the sacrificial ritual, after which the vessels and paddles were buried on site.
Fig 6. Examples of human (bare foot of a child and sandal print of an adult) and camelid footprints in wet mud.
10 / 29
Contemporaneity of the sacrificial event
One of the objectives of the excavations was to determine whether this massive concentration
of sacrificed children and camelids represents a single event or a series of smaller events.
Stratigraphic analysis indicates that all the humans and animals were buried in the same layer of
clean sand. Almost all bodies were buried at the same depth and in close proximity to one
another, and no examples were found of burial pits that cut into others. Only two bodies
located on the northern sector of the site were found at a significantly greater depth. The
discovery of human and camelid foot prints made in wet mud suggest that the victims circulated
near the area where they were finally buried. These data, along with our observations on burial
position and spatial clustering suggest that a) the children and the camelids were sacrificed at
this location (rather than their bodies being brought from elsewhere) and that b) the final
disposition of the human and animal bodies followed a consistent sacrificial program planned
and organized, perhaps, by Chimu? priests and officials.
Dating the event
Twenty AMS radiocarbon determinations were made by two independent laboratories. The
samples were drawn from different sectors of the excavations, and all are based on short-lived
plant remains (sedge ropes associated with the camelids and cotton threads from children?s
burial shrouds). Four C14 dates out of 21 are slightly earlier than the others, and they may
have been the result of using different materials (for example human hair, collagen or camelid
excrement) or simply standard errors in a large sample (Table 1). All in all, the results cluster
around CAL AD 1400?1450 (Table 1). Using one or two sigma calibrations, the results indicate
that the sacrificial event can be dated relatively precisely to this range of dates, placing it in the
late Chimu? period. Stratigraphic evidence suggests that the sacrifice was made following a
heavy rain/flood event that deposited a layer of mud on top of the clean sand in which the
children and camelids were buried. The mud appears to have been deposited as sheet wash during
a major rainfall event (or series of events), and is probably associated with the El
Ni?o-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon or a similar climate alteration (?El Ni?o Costero? for
instance) that periodically brings coastal flooding and elevated sea temperatures that disrupt
the marine food chain in northern and central Peru. It is possible that the sacrifices were made
in response to the heavy rains, as burial pits were dug through the mud layer and in a few cases
some children and camelids were left on top of the wet mud.
Osteological analysis of the sacrificed children
In the field laboratory a detailed dental, skeletal, and photographic record was produced for
each individual. Age at death was estimated based on dental calcification and eruption, long
bone length and epiphyseal fusion. The three adults were aged based on epiphyseal fusion and
pubic symphysis morphology [
Skeletal and dental pathology, including developmental defects, infectious disease, trauma,
and oral pathology was recorded by visual examination following standard guidelines [
The presence, absence, and form of cranial modification was also recorded. Finally,
observations were made on perimortem injury and probable cause of death. With the exception of
three adult burials (two females and one male), all the human skeletal remains were of
children, ranging in age from approximately five to fourteen years, with the majority falling in the
range of eight to twelve years of age.
Laboratory examination suggests (to the degree possible from skeletal and dental
observations) that the children were in good health, with low frequencies and only mild expression of
nutritional stress indicators commonly used as measures of childhood health [
11 / 29
Frequencies of porotic hyperostosis (14.1%), cribra orbitalia (16.5%), enamel hypoplasias (less
than 10%) and periosteal reactions on long bones(10.6%) are all low compared to other skeletal
samples from LIP and LH coastal Peruvian sites [
]. Dental caries and periapical abscesses
were observed on some deciduous teeth, but no individuals showed notable oral pathology.
These low frequencies do not suggest that marginalized or low social status children were
preferentially selected for sacrifice at Huanchaquito, as appears to have been the case for some
other north coast Peruvian sacrifices .
aDNA preliminary analysis
Short hair and remains of loincloths worn by some individuals are suggestive of male sex, but
skeletal morphology cannot distinguish males and females at this young age. However,
preliminary analysis of dental samples using gonosomalDNA markers indicates that both boys and
girls are present in the sample (Table 2). In a preliminary study, sex chromosomal markers
were successfully analyzed for 28 individuals using a multiplex quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay
amplifying three short intergenic sequences on both gonosomes: two y-chromosomal (44 and
47 bp), one x-chromosomal (44 bp) target [
]. For 20 of those individuals the presence of
both X- and Y-chromosomal markers could be determined, while for eight individuals the
analyses only revealed the presence of X-chromosomal markers in several replications,
suggesting that these individuals were female. Because of the degraded nature of the DNA isolated
from the specimens, alleleic dropout must be considered as a potential explanation for this
lack of y-chromosomal signals from these eight individuals, but the consistent results found in
at least four replications for each sample strongly support the accuracy of the results. We
further confirmed the qPCR based genetic sex determinations for 7 individuals by exploring the
ratio of X- to Y-chromosomal reads [
] from low coverage shotgun sequencing data. We
build double-stranded, partially UDG treated sequencing libraries [
] from the DNA extracts,
and sequenced those for ~300,000 reads on a Illumina MiSeq Next Generation Sequencer
(NGS) (see Table 3? NGS sequencing statistics). After demultiplexing, resulting sequencing
reads were processed using the in-house computational pipeline developed for aDNA
described in (Fehren-Schmitz et al. [
], which includes the assessment of DNA damage
patterns and mitochondrial contamination rations [
]. We confirmed the Native American
ancestry of the individuals by determining their mitochondrial haplogroups (Tables 2 and 3)
using a multiplex single-base extension PCR assay . Further, genome wide sequencing
analyses are currently in progress in order to explore the population genetic affinities of the
Variability in cranial modification
Variation in styles of cranial modification indicates that the children buried at HLL are a
heterogeneous sample, perhaps drawn from distinct ethnic groups and geographic regions (Fig
7). Of 130 crania sufficiently complete enough to be evaluated, 85.4% (111/130) show no
cranial modification. Surprisingly, only 8.5% (11/130) show the form of occipital flattening typical
of prehistoric populations of the north coast of Peru: tabular erect [
] or fronto-occipital
(anteroposterior) deformation [
], which is considered to be the result of cradle boarding in
]. Eight crania (6.2%) show a distinct form of cranial modification known as
] or circumferential [
]. With the exception of a single well-contextualized burial
from an early LIP context at the site of El Brujo in the Chicama Valley (who we interpret as a
highland woman who migrated to the coast) and seven individuals in a Chimu? mass killing in
the Huarmey Valley [also interpreted as possibly non-local [
] to our knowledge no other
examples of annular deformation have been published from north coast Peruvian sites of any
12 / 29
Fig 7. Comparison of variation in cranial shape reflecting distinct forms of cranial modification. On left, annular deformation; at center, unmodified; and
at right, occipital flattening.
time period. Likewise, fronto-occipital cradleboard deformation has not been reported in the
northern highlands, where both unmodified crania and crania with annular deformation have
been documented archaeologically [
], suggesting that some of the Huanchaquito-Las
Llamas children?particularly those with annular deformation?are of highland rather than
coastal origin. While annular deformation was practiced in more distant regions, such as the
southern highlands and south coast of Peru highland Bolivia and northern Chile, these areas
lie far beyond the recognized boundaries of the Chimu? state, and we consider these as unlikely
places of origin for any of the HLL sacrificial victims.
Unfortunately, there is very little archaeologically excavated human skeletal material from
the site of Chan Chan to which the HLL children can be compared. The cemeteries and burial
platforms of Chan Chan have been intensively looted since the early Colonial Period (Moseley
and Day 1982) and only a limited number of burials have been excavated and studied by
14 / 29
biological anthropologists despite extensive fieldwork at the site. To date the largest known
sample for which cranial deformation has been recorded is a collection of looted burials
surrounding the principal tomb in the burial platform at the Las Avispas compound, excavated by
Thomas Pozorski and subsequently re-examined by Andrew Nelson [
examination of the Las Avispas crania found that more than half showed fronto-occipital deformation.
No examples of annular deformation have been identified at Las Avispas or elsewhere at Chan
Ongoing excavations at Chan Chan may eventually produce skeletal samples sufficient for
comparison with the Huanchaquito-Las Llamas children. For now, we must rely on data from
other Late Intermediate Period sites in north coast valleys that were under the control of the
Chimu? state which can serve as general proxies for deformation practices on the north coast of
Peru during the period of Chimu? hegemony. Table 4 presents data on cranial deformation
frequencies from three Late Intermediate Period sites in coastal valleys to the north of Chan
Chan and one from the Huarmey Valley south of Chan Chan. All show a predominance of
fronto-occipital deformation, ranging from 63?82%. Compared with these contemporaneous
north coast collections the HLL children, with only 8.5% showing fronto-occipital deformation
and 6.2% showing annular deformation, stand out as an anomalous sample, supporting the
hypothesis that they were drawn from diverse groups and not from a single local population.
In contrast, the three sacrificed adults found at HLL (described below) show fronto-occipital
deformation typical of northern coastal Peru during the Late Intermediate Period.
Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis
Stable isotope analysis (SIA) in human and animal remains found in archaeological contexts
serves as a valuable source of information about their dietary history. Information on stable
isotopic analysis of the camelids from Huanchaquito Las Llamas is summarized below and in
detail in two recent publications [
]. Preliminary data on the sacrificed children is presented
here and compared to data from other northern and central coastal Peru Late Intermediate
Period and Late Horizon samples [
Preparation and analysis
Dentin was extracted from 38 HLL tooth samples and purified using the modified Longin
method with ultrafiltration following procedures detailed by Brown et al. [
] and Hoggarth
et al. [
]. Physically cleaned samples were demineralized and gelatinized. Crude gelatin yields
were recorded and then ultrafiltered, retaining > 30 kDa molecular weight gelatin. Carbon
and nitrogen concentrations and stable isotope ratios were measured at the Yale Earth Systems
Center for Stable Isotopic Studies facility with a Costech elemental analyzer (ECS 4010) and a
Thermo DeltaPlus Advantage analyzer. Sample quality was evaluated by percentage crude
gelatin yield, C percentage, N percentage, and C:N ratio following van Klinken. [
Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic ratios from 38 individuals are given in Table 5. In Table 6
summary statistics (mean, range, and standard deviation) are presented and compared with
available data from other roughly contemporaneous sites in the Jequetepeque (Pacatnamu?),
Lambayeque (Chotuna-Chornancap), and Rimac (Puruchuco-Huaquerones) valleys. Very few
studies of carbon and nitrogen isotopes are available for northern coastal Peru. For this reason,
the Puruchuco-Huaquerones data are included for comparative purposes, even though the
Rimac Valley lies just beyond the southern frontier of the Chimu? state. As can be seen in
Table 6, mean ?13C values are quite similar (-11.2 to -11.9) across all samples, but the mean
15 / 29
value for ? 15N in the HLL sample (8.2) is notably lower. Examination of individual values
shows that the most negative ? 13C value is found at HLL (-16.0), as is the case for ? 15N as well
(6.2), both beyond the range of the comparative samples. While the residential and life history
of the HLL children is unknown, the variability in their dietary signatures, and some notable
outliers supports the inference from cranial modification that they may have been drawn from
diverse ethnic groups and/or geographic regions.
16 / 29
HLL isotopic data are presented in Fig 8, where collagen values are adjusted to reflect
dietary protein [76?77?78?79] and plotted on an Andean food web diagram adapted from
Williams and Murphy [
]. For comparison, Fig 8 also includes a plot of similarly adjusted bone
collagen values from the geographically and temporally closest comparative sample of LIP
burials from the site of Pacatnamu?, located on a coastal blufftop in the Jequetepeque Valley, c.
100 km north of Huanchaquito [
]. The HLL children show a wider range of both 13C/12C
and 15N/14N ratios compared to Pacatnamu?, and many have nitrogen values that suggest less
marine protein in the diet.
Interpreting the dietary implications of carbon and nitrogen stable isotope values in the
HLL sample is complicated by several factors, including (1) potential variability in carbon and
nitrogen values in children, based on the developmental timing of specific teeth sampled and
weaning age [
], (2) a lack of comparative data from cemetery samples at Chan Chan and
other LIP Moche Valley sites, and (3) by evidence of inter-site diversity in diet based on studies
of occupational refuse from Chan Chan and surrounding LIP sites conducted by Shelia
]. Despite Chan Chan?s location on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean, Pozorski?s
excavations of domestic refuse deposits revealed that the urban population derived the
majority of their animal protein not from marine resources but from domestic camelids and to a
lesser degree from guinea pigs and dogs, with only a small dietary contribution from fish and
shellfish. In contrast, habitation refuse at three satellite communities surrounding Chan Chan
(Caracoles, Choroval, and Cerro la Virgen) revealed evidence of more marine protein
consumption, although the proportions of terrestrial/marine food sources varied among these
sites as well. In general terms, the coastal samples compared in Table 6 show similar carbon
and nitrogen isotopic ratios, indicating a diet of mixed C3 and C4 plants (fruits, root crops,
beans, and maize) and lower trophic level proteins from largely terrestrial sources such as
camelids and guinea pigs [
]. On average, the HLL children appear to have consumed a diet
similar to that of other LIP coastal populations, although some individuals have ? 13C and ? 15N
values that depart sharply from the mean values at HLL and at comparative sites. Further
investigation of these outliers taking into account tooth type and possible weaning age, as well
as by examination of additional stable isotopes and aDNA is currently in progress.
Osteological evidence of sacrificial method
Laboratory examination revealed that nearly all children with complete sternal elements
showed a single transverse cut through one of the sternebrae (unfused sternal elements). The
cuts are consistent in location, angle and direction, and the rarity of hesitation cuts or ?false
] suggests that an experienced hand made them (Fig 9). Approximately 10% also
showed cut marks on the external surface of the third or fourth rib, as was seen in the camelids
as well (see below). Many of children had visible spreading and displacement of the ribs,
indicating that the chest was opened forcefully.
17 / 29
Fig 8. Huanchaquito-Las llamas stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen (corrected for diet) plotted onto an andean food web, and compared to similar
isotopic data from the nearby site of pacatnamu? (light triangles).
The transverse orientation of the cuts of the sterna of the Huanchaquito children are unlike
those seen in any other sacrificial victims from ancient Peru. While cutting open of the chest
of sacrificial victims by an oblique cut through the manubrium sterni has been documented at
the north coast Peruvian sites of Pacatnamu? [
], Tu?cume [
] Cerro Cerrillos, and
], the approach to the thoracic cavity at Huanchaquito is different.
Accessing the heart by transverse sectioning of the sternum is a technique familiar to modern
thoracic surgeons, and is known by various names (e.g., bilateral anterior thoracotomy with
transverse sternotomy, transsternal bilateral thoracotomy, and ?clamshell? incision [
]. The purpose of opening the chests of the children (and camelids; see below) at HLL
can only be hypothesized, but heart removal is a likely motivation. Soft tissue preservation was
not sufficient to demonstrate that the Huanchaquito children?s hearts were removed, but some
ethnohistoric accounts of ritual practices of the Inca describe heart removal as a sacrificial
method. For example, the sixteenth century Spanish chronicler Cristo?bal de Molina described
various forms of Inca child sacrifice, including extraction of the heart. In his Account of the
Fables and Rites of the Incas, he wrote ?Other [children] had their live hearts taken out, and so
the priests offered the beating [hearts] to the huacas to which the sacrifice was made.? [
While the veracity of Molina?s account cannot be confirmed, extraction of the hearts of
18 / 29
Fig 9. Examples of bisected sternal elements.
camelids was a form of sacrifice also described and illustrated by chroniclers in the sixteenth
and seventeenth century, and it is still practiced in modern highland Peru (see below).
Zooarchaeological study of camelid remains
More than 200 camelids were excavated at HLL. Preliminary analysis has been conducted on
120 specimens. Although not all camelid remains were complete due to post-depositional
disturbance, the overall preservation was excellent and allowed the study of perishable materials
such as wool, stomach contents, sedge ropes, and plant remains caught in the animals? hair,
observations that are not normally observable in archaeological contexts. It is very difficult to
19 / 29
differentiate llama (Lama glama) from alpaca (Lama pacos) from an osteological point of view.
Moreover, the osteometrical approach based on the first phalanx first proposed by Kent [
and revised by Izeta [
] could not be used due to the young age of the camelids. We thus used
dental morphology (incisor shape and location of enamel) and wool characteristics (fiber
morphology and pattern, distribution of colors) that indicate that the camelids were probably
llamas (Lama glama).
Age was estimated on the basis of dental eruption and tooth wear [
]. All the camelids
were immature, less than a year and a half old, with 75% estimated to be less than 9 months of
age. The very high proportion of very young individuals and the lack of adults indicate that
these animals were age-selected. There is a clear parallel between the young ages of the children
and the camelids.
A variety of coat colors was observed, including beige, light brown, dark brown and mixed
colors such as a brown background with beige dots. The most frequently observed color was
brown; the least common was beige. The predominance of brown and mixed color, along with
the young age of the animals, appear to have been principal criteria in the selection of animals
for sacrifice. Some colors may have been considered most appropriate for sacrificial rituals.
Although the possible symbolic significance of color selection is not known for Chimu? society,
comparative data are available for the Inca. Spanish chroniclers described in detail the ritual
sacrifices of camelids according to the Inca ceremonial calendar, and noted that specific colors
of camelids were selected for particular events and seasons [
At HLL particular attention was paid to determining how the camelids were sacrificed. No
evidence was found of blunt force trauma to the skull or slashing of the throat. Like the
children, the camelids show transverse cuts through the sternebrae, predominantly the second
and third (Fig 10). Cut marks are often present on the ribs as well, most frequently on the
external shaft of the third and fourth ribs (both right and left). Miller [
] recorded cut
marks on camelid sterna and ribs made by a sacrificial technique known in the Peruvian
highlands as the ch?illa, which is still practiced today. This technique is used to remove the heart
after inserting the hand and forearm into the chest of the animal. Although the location of cut
marks on HLL camelids differs somewhat from that described by Miller in his ethnographic
study, there are clear parallels between the two. Perhaps the young age of the camelids, with
more fragile bones of those of an adult, did not require the same location of chest opening.
In order to investigate the geographical origin of the sacrificed camelids, a preliminary
isotopic analysis was conducted on 29 animals. Bone collagen was extracted following the
protocol of Bocherens et al. [
]. Following demineralization of powdered bone, potential
contamination of fulvic and humic acids were removed. Gelatin was combusted using an
Elemental Analyser Flash 2000, coupled with a Delta V Advantage (Thermo Scientific) isotope
ratio mass spectrometer for ?13C and ?15N analysis at the Service de Spectrome?trie de Masse
Isotopique du Muse?um national d?Histoire naturelle (MNHN, Paris, France). Extraction yield
(mean = 15.1 ? 4.2%) and C:N ratio (mean 3.2 ? 0.1) indicate the a very good quality of
preservation of HLL specimens. Stable isotopic analysis of collagen extracted from bone has been
demonstrated to be an appropriate method for distinguishing between individuals raised at
high and low altitudes in the Andes [
]. The western slopes of the Andes present a wide
variety of ecological zones  from the coast to the highlands, characterized by differences in
physical parameters such as aridity and availability of different food resource categories such
as C3 versus C4 plants [
]. ?13C values of all individuals tested indicate the consumption of C4
plants?a photosynthetic pathway largely absent in the elevated areas of the Andes (Fig 11).
?15N values further suggest that camelids were raised in an arid environment typical of the
coast and mid-valley. These values are consistent with previously reported data for Early
20 / 29
Fig 10. Cut marks on ribs and sternebrae of camelids.
Intermediate Period contexts [
] and confirm local herding practices specific to
pre-Hispanic times in northern coastal Peru.
21 / 29
Fig 11. Comparison of bone collagen ?13C (? VPDB) and ?15N (? AIR) mean values (? 1SD) of sacrificed camelids from huanchaquito-las lamas (dark
circle) compared with modern specimens (open triangle; Dufour et al. 2104) from north peruvian highlands, archaeological specimens from the LIP to
MH site of huaca santa clara (grey diamond; szpak et al. 2014) and early intermediate period sites of el brujo, huaca santa clara and huaca gallinazo (blue
diamonds; dufour et al. 2014; szpak et al. 2014). Modern specimen values are reported with a +1.5 ? adjustment factor to account for modern enrichment of
atmosphere in 12C (Suess Effect).
The archaeological context and osteological analysis of the human and camelid remains at
Huanchaquito document a mass sacrifice of children and camelids on a scale unlike any seen
previously in Andean South America. In number, it greatly exceeds the known sample of Inca
child sacrifices from high altitude sites in the Andes [
3, 38, 40
]. It also is substantially larger
than the only other mass sacrifice of children known from the New World, that of 42 children
in Offering 48 at the Mexica Templo Mayor in Central Mexico [
]. Relatively few convincing
examples of child sacrifice are known from the Old World [
], and in most cases, there is
debate over whether these in fact can be identified as intentional killing, given a lack of
osteological evidence of cause of death [
]. In the case of HLL, there is no such ambiguity.
Skeletal evidence clearly indicates that the children and camelids were sacrificed by cutting
open the thoracic cavity. No other evidence of perimortem (occurring at or around the time of
death) trauma was observed in any of the children or camelids, indicating that the sacrificial
program was a consistent one. Although human sacrifice by opening the thoracic cavity has
been documented previously at north coast Peruvian sites, the specific technique used at
22 / 29
Huanchaquito is unlike that of previously documented cases in Peru. Three adult skeletons
found in direct association with the children and camelids also appear to be sacrifices, based
on their atypical burial positions (crouched face down or splayed on the back), evidence of
blunt force trauma in the two females, and a lack of funerary offerings, as well as their close
physical association with the child and camelid burials, although their chests were not opened.
Variation in forms of cranial deformation and the wide range of carbon and nitrogen
isotopic ratios observed in the children suggest that they are a heterogeneous sample, perhaps
composed of individuals selected from various geographic or ethnic groups, rather than from a
single local population, similar to what has been found in Inca child sacrifices [
4, 38, 42?43
The geographic origins and life histories of the HLL children, who range from approximately
five to fourteen years of age, is a question to be explored further through ongoing laboratory
analyses, including the study of additional stable isotopes (to examine diet and geographic
origin), aDNA (to determine sex and possible genetic relationships with other coastal and
highland groups), and through analysis of skeletal indicators of health and cultural markers such as
intentional cranial modification. The presence of a thick layer of mud on top of the sand in
which the children and camelids were buried, as well as the presence of human and animal
footprints made while the mud was still wet, suggest that the sacrificial event occurred shortly
after heavy rainfall and flooding, in an arid region that receives negligible rainfall under
normal conditions. While the correlation between heavy rains and the sacrifice may be
coincidental, it is tempting to hypothesize that the two events are associated, and that the mass offering
of children and camelids may have been an attempt to appease the gods and mitigate the effects
of a major ENSO event that occurred around 1400?1450 A.D. The sacrifice of such a large
number of children and camelids constituted a significant investment of resources for the
Chimu? state, whose massive capital city Chan Chan lies less than a kilometer away from the
Huanchaquito Las Llamas sacrifice site.
The 2011 field season was possible thanks to the Department of Anthropology, Yale
University, the City Hall of Huanchaco and the Direccion Desconcentrada de Cultura La Libertad
(Peru). Special thanks to the former Mayor of Huanchaco, Fernando Bazan, and the former
director (RIP), Enrique Sanchez-Maura, for their logistic and economic support during the
emergency excavations carried out in 2011. Special thanks to Michele Spano Pescara who was
the person who alert us about the presence of human remains at the area now known as
Huanchaquito Las Llamas. His wife and sons were very friendly with us during all the field seasons,
providing snacks and beverages for the workers, students and archaeologists. In 2011, Katya
Valladares was the first bioarchaeologist who determined that the children had a clear cut on
the sternum, determining that they may have been part of a ritual sacrificial event. During the
excavations in 2011 a group of undergraduates of the National University of Trujillo were
crucial to register all the human remains and camelid bones. Our special thanks for Sheba
Schilk, Elvis Monzon, Lorenzo Risco, Jhon Baldeos, Roy Lezama, Aldo Watanabe and Pedro
Caceres. The field drawings in 2011 were done by Pedro Neciosup who was hired by Direccion
Desconcentrada de Cultura La Libertad. During the 2014 and 2016 field seasons a number of
undergraduate and graduate students from the National University of Trujillo and Tulane
University participated during the excavation process and laboratory work. Finally, our special
gratitude for Kurt Mutchler, Kristin Romey and Robert Clark from National Geographic
Society for documenting our research at Huanchaquito Las Llamas and for providing
unconditional support to continue our research at this important archaeological site and other
settlements in the Huanchaco area.
23 / 29
Conceptualization: Gabriel Prieto, John W. Verano.
Data curation: Gabriel Prieto, John W. Verano, Jeffrey Quilter, Lars Fehren-Schmitz.
Formal analysis: Gabriel Prieto, John W. Verano, Nicolas Goepfert, Douglas Kennett, Jeffrey
Quilter, Steven LeBlanc, Lars Fehren-Schmitz, Jannine Forst, Mellisa Lund, Brittany
Dement, Elise Dufour, Olivier Tombret, Melina Calmon, Davette Gadison, Khrystyne
Funding acquisition: Gabriel Prieto, John W. Verano, Nicolas Goepfert, Jeffrey Quilter,
Steven LeBlanc, Lars Fehren-Schmitz.
Investigation: Gabriel Prieto, John W. Verano, Nicolas Goepfert, Douglas Kennett, Lars
Fehren-Schmitz, Brittany Dement.
Methodology: Gabriel Prieto, John W. Verano, Nicolas Goepfert, Douglas Kennett, Lars
Fehren-Schmitz, Jannine Forst, Brittany Dement, Elise Dufour, Olivier Tombret.
Project administration: Gabriel Prieto, John W. Verano.
Resources: Gabriel Prieto, John W. Verano, Jeffrey Quilter, Steven LeBlanc, Lars
Software: John W. Verano.
Supervision: Gabriel Prieto, John W. Verano.
Validation: Gabriel Prieto, John W. Verano.
Visualization: Gabriel Prieto, John W. Verano.
Writing ? original draft: Gabriel Prieto, John W. Verano.
Writing ? review & editing: Gabriel Prieto, John W. Verano, Nicolas Goepfert, Lars
24 / 29
25 / 29
26 / 29
27 / 29
28 / 29
1. Verano J. Where Do They Rest? The Treatment of Human Offerings and Trophies in Ancient Peru . In Dillehay T., editor. Tombs for the Living: Andean Mortuary Practices . Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks; 1995 . pp. 189 - 227 .
2. Verano J. The Physical Evidence of Human Sacrifice in Ancient Peru . In Benson E, Cook A , editors. Ritual Sacrifice in Ancient Peru . Austin: University of Texas Press; 2001 . pp. 165 - 184 .
3. Besom T . Of Summits and Sacrifice: An Ethnohistoric Study of Inka Religious Practices . 1st ed. Austin: University of Texas Press; 2009 .
4. Reinhard J , Ceruti C. Pilgrimage , Sacred Mountains, and Human Sacrifice among the Incas . Archaeoastronomy . 2000 ; 19 : 1 - 43 .
5. Verano J. War and Death in the Moche World: Osteological Evidence and Visual Discourse . In Pillsbury J, editor. Moche Art and Archaeology in Ancient Peru . Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art. 2001 pp. 111 - 125 .
6. Verano J. Trophy Head-Taking and Human Sacrifice in Andean South America . In Silverman H , Isbell WH , editors. Handbook of South American Archaeology . New York: Springer. 2008 . pp. 1047 - 1060 .
7. Tung TA . Dismembering Bodies for Display: A Bioarchaeological Study of Trophy Heads from the Wari Site of Conchapata, Peru . American Journal of Physical Anthropology . 2008 ; 136 : 294 - 308 . https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.20812 PMID: 18324637
8. Goepfert N. Llama and Deer: Food and Symbolical Dualism in the Central Andes Area . Anthropozoologica. 2010 ; 45 ( 1 ): 25 - 45 .
9. Goepfert N. Frayer la route d'un Monde Inverse . Sacrifice et Ofrandes Animales dans la Cultura Miochica ( 100 - 800 apr. J.-C.), Cote Nord du Perou. BAR International Series 2278 . Oxford: British Archaeological Reports; 2011 .
10. Goepfert N. New Zooarchaeological and Funerary Perspectives on Mochica Culture ( 100 -800 AD), Peru. Journal of Field Archaeology . 2012 ; 37 ( 2 ): 104 - 120 .
11. Shimada M , Shimada I . Prehistoric Llama Breeding and Herding on the North Coast . American Antiquity. 1985 ; 50 : 3 - 26 .
12. Wheeler JC . El estudio de restos momificados de alpacas y llamas precolombinas . In Elkin C. M. D.C. , Mengoni Gola?ons C.L. , Olivera D.E , Reigadas H.D M.d .C. Zooarqueologia de Camelidos. Perspectivas Teoricas y Metodologicas (2da Parte), A?o 1 . Buenos Aires: Grupo de Zooarqueologia de Camelidos (Gzc); 1996 . pp. 91 - 101 .
13. Andrushko VA , Buzon MR , Gibaja AM . Investigating a Child Sacrifice Event from the Inca Heartland . Journal of Archaeological Science . 2011 ; 38 ( 2 ): 323 - 333 .
14. Klaus HD . Bioarchaeology of Human Sacrifice: Violence, Identity and the Evolution of Ritual Killing at Cerro Cerrillos, Peru . Antiquity. 2010 ; 84 ( 326 ): 1102 - 1122 .
15. Klaus HD , Toyne JM (editors). Ritual Violence in the Ancient Andes: Reconstructing Sacrifice on the North Coast of Peru . Austin: University of Texas Press; 2016 .
16. Toyne M. Offering Their Hearts and Their Heads: A Bioarchaeological Analysis of Ancient Human Sacrifice on the Northern Coast of Peru . Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation , Tulane University. 2009 .
17. Toyne M. Interpretations of Pre-Hispanic Ritual Violence at Tucume, Peru, from Cut Mark Analysis . Latin American Antiquity . 2011 ; 22 ( 4 ): 505 - 523 .
18. Tung TA . Violence, Ritual, and the Wari Empire: A Social Bioarchaeology of Imperialism in the Ancient Andes. Bioarchaeological Interpretations of the Human Past: Local, Regional , and Global Perspectives . Gainesville: University Press of Florida; 2012 .
19. Goepfert N , Prieto G . Offering Llamas to the Sea. The economic and ideological importance of camelids in the Chimu? society, North Coast of Peru . In Capriles JM , Tripcevich N editors. The Archaeology of Andean Pastoralism . University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 2016 . pp. 197 - 210 .
20. Prieto G , Goepfert N , Valladares K , Vilela J . Sacrificios de Ni?os, Adolescentes y Camelidos Jovenes durante el Intermedio Tardio en la Periferia de Chan Chan , Valle de Moche, Costa Norte del Peru. Arqueologia y Sociedad . 2015 ; 27 : 255 - 296 .
21. Verano JW , Toyne JM . Estudio Bioantropolo?gico de los restos humanos del sector II , Punta Lobos , Valle de Huarmey. Giersz M, editor . Arqueolog??a de La Costa de Ancash. ANDES 8: Bolet??n Del Centro de Estudios Precolombinos de La Universidad de Varsovia. Varsovia , Poland; Lima Peru: l'Institut franc?ais d'e?tudes andines; 2011 . pp. 421 - 446 .
22. Pozorski S. Subsistence Systems in the Chimu? State . In Moseley ME , Day KC , editors. Chan Chan: Andean Desert City . Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press; 1982 . pp. 177 - 196 .
23. Day KC . Ciudadelas: Their Form and Function . In Chan Chan: Andean Desert City . Moseley ME , Day KC , editors. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press; 1982 . pp. 55 - 66 .
24. Moore JD , Mackey CJ . The Chimu? Empire . In Silverman H , Isbell WH , editors. Handbook of South American Archaeology . New York: Springer; 2008 . pp. 783 - 807 .
25. Pillsbury J. The Thorny Oyster and the Origins of Empire: Implications of Recently Uncovered Spondylus Imagery from Chan Chan, Peru . Latin American Antiquity. 1996 ; 7 ( 4 ): 313 - 340 .
26. Farrington I , Park CC . Hydraulic Engineering and Irrigation Agriculture in the Moche Valley , Peru?: c. A. D. 1250 - 1532 . Journal of Archaeological Science . 1978 ; 5 : 255 - 268 .
27. Ortloff CR . La Ingenier??a Hidrau?lica Chimu? (parte I): el sistema de canales La Cumbre . In Letchman H , Soldi AM , editors. La Tecnolog? ?a en el mundo andino . Universidad Autonoma de Mexico, Ciudad de Mexico. 1981 . pp. 91 - 111 .
28. Keatinge RW . Urban Settlement Systems and Rural Sustaining Communities: An Example from Chan Chan's Hinterland . Journal of Field Archaeology . 1975 ; 2 ( 3 ): 215 - 227 .
29. Hodder I. Inhabiting C ? atalho?yu?k: Reports from the 1995-99 Seasons . Ankara/London; Cambridge: British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara; McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. 2005 .
30. Moses S. Sociopolitical Implications of Neolithic Foundation Deposits and The Possibility of Child Sacrifice: A Case Study at C? atalho?yu?k, Turkey . In Porter A , Schwartz GM , editors. Sacred Killing: The Archaeology of Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East . Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns; 2012 . pp. 57 - 77 .
31. Porter A , Schwartz GM . Sacred killing: the archaeology of sacrifice in the ancient Near East . Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake, Ind; 2012 .
32. Schwartz JH , Houghton FD , Bondioli L , Macchiarelli R. Bones , Teeth, and Estimating Age of Perinates: Carthaginian Infant Sacrifice Revisited . Antiquity. 2012 ; 86 ( 333 ): 738 - 745 .
33. Claassen C . Infanticide and sacrifices among Archaic babies of the central United States . World Archaeology. 2013 ; 45 ( 2 ): 298 - 313 .
34. Scherer AK . Bioarchaeology and the Skeletons of the Pre-Columbian Maya . Journal of Archaeological Research . 2017 ; 25 ( 2 ): 133 - 184 .
35. Tiesler V , Cucina A , editors. New Perspectives on Human Sacrifice and Ritual Body Treatments in Ancient Maya Society . Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology. New York: Springer. 2007 .
36. Lo?pez Luja?n L , Guilhem O , editors. El sacrificio humano en la tradicio?n religiosa mesoamericana . 1st ed. Instituto Nacional de Antropolog??a e Historia: Universidad Nacional Auto?noma de Me?xico, Instituto de Investigaciones Histo?ricas, Me?xico, D.F. 2010 .
37. Prout A. The Body, Childhood and Society . Edited by Prout A. MacMillan Press LTD ; 2000 .
38. Ceruti MC . Frozen Mummies from Andean Mountaintop Shrines: Bioarchaeology and Ethnohistory of Inca Human Sacrifice . BioMed Research International, Volume 2015 , Article ID 439428. 2015 .
39. Duviols P. La Capacocha: mecanismo y funcion del sacrificio humano su proyeccion geometrica, su papel en la politica intergracionista y en la economia redistributiva del Tawantinsuyu . Allpanchis . 1976 ; 9 : 11 - 58 .
40. Reinhard J. Inca Rituals and Sacred Mountains: A Study of the World's Highest Archaeological Sites . Monograph, 67 . Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, University of California, Los Angeles. 2010 .
41. Bray TL , Minc LD , Ceruti MC . A Compositional Analysis of Pottery Vessels Associated with the Inca Ritual of Capacocha . Journal of Anthropological Archaeology . 2005 ; 24 ( 1 ): 82 - 100 .
42. Wilson AS , Taylor T , Ceruti MC . Stable Isotope and DNA Evidence for Ritual Sequences in Inca Child Sacrifice . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America . 2007 ; 104 ( 42 ): 16456 - 16461 . https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0704276104 PMID: 17923675
43. Wilson AS , Brown EL , Villa C. Archaeological , Radiological, and Biological Evidence Offer Insight into Inca Child Sacrifice . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America . 2013 ; 110 ( 33 ): 13322 - 13327 . https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1305117110 PMID: 23898165
44. Calancha A de la . Cronica Moralizadora del Order de San Agustin en el Peru, con sucesos ejemplares en esta monarquia . Cronicas del Peru Libro Tercero . Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru. 1977 [ 1638 ].
45. Verano JW , Phillips SS . The Killing of Captives on the North Coast of Peru in Pre-Hispanic Times: Iconographic and Bioarchaeological Evidence . In Klaus HD , Toyne JM , editors. Ritual Violence in the Ancient Andes: Reconstructing Sacrifice on the North Coast of Peru . Austin: University of Texas Press; 2016 ; pp. 244 - 265 .
46. Donnan C , Foote L. Appendix 2: Child and Llama Burials from Huanchaco . In Donnan C, Mackey C , editors. Ancient Burial Patterns of the Moche Valley , Peru. University of Texas Press, Austin, TX. 1978 . pp. 399 - 408 .
47. Izumi S , Sono T . Andes 2 Excavations at Kotosh, Peru 1960 . Kadokawa Pub . Co, Tokyo. 1963 .
48. Orefici G . El recinto de los Camelidos. In Memorias del VI Congreso de la FIEALL (varsovia 23 mai-2 juin 1993 ), Cesla, Universidad de Varsovia. 1994 . pp. 49 - 53 .
49. Meneses J , Linares S , Gomez J , Pe?aranda M. Excavaciones en el Frontis Norte y en la Plaza 1 de la Huaca de la Luna . In Uceda S, Morales R , editors. Proyecto Arqueolo?gico Huaca de la Luna. Informe Te?cnico 2009 . Universidad Nacional de Trujillo, Trujillo. 2010 . pp. 51 - 96 .
50. Prieto G. Chicha production during the Chimu? period at San Jose? de Moro, Jequetepeque Valley, north coast of Peru. In Zori CM , Johnson I , editors. From state to empire in the Prehistoric Jequetepeque Valley , Peru Archaeopress, Oxford, England. 2011 . pp. 105 - 128 . vol. 2310 .
51. Buikstra JE , Ubelaker DH . Standards for Data Collection from Human Skeletal Remains . Arkansas Archaeological Survey, Fayetteville. 1994 .
52. Ubelaker DH . Human Skeletal Remains: Excavation, Analysis, Interpretation . 2nd ed. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company. 1989 .
53. Ortner D J. Identification of Pathological Conditions in Human Skeletal Remains . 2nd ed. Amsterdam; Boston: Academic Press. 2003 .
54. Goodman A H. , Rose JC . Assessment of Systemic Physiological Perturbation From Dental Enamel Hypoplasias and Associated Histological Structures . Yearbook of Physical Anthropology 33 , no. 11 1990 : 59 - 110 .
55. Larsen C.S. Bioarchaeology: Interpreting Behavior from the Human Skeleton . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997 .
56. Bloom DE., Buikstra JE. , Keng L. , Tomczak PD. , Shoreman E. , and Stevens-Tuttle D . Anemia and Childhood Mortality: Latitudinal Patterning along the Coast of Pre-Columbian Peru . Am J Phys Anthropol 127 ( 2 ): 152 - 69 , 2005 . https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.10431 PMID: 15558829
57. Williams JS , Murphy MS . Living and dying as subjects of the Inca Empire: adult diet and health at Puruchuco-Huaquerones, Peru . Journal of Anthropological Archaeology , 2013 ; 32 ( 2 ): 165 - 179
58. Klaus HD . Life, Death, and Burial of Children on the North Coast of Peru: An integrative and Interpretive Bioarchaeological Perspective (850 BC-AD 1750) . In Beauchesne Patrick and Agarwal Sabrina C. (eds.). Children and Childhood in Bioarchaeology. Bioarchaeological Interpretations of the Human Past 70 . Gainesville , FL: University Press of Florida, 2018 . pp. 127 - 1
59. Madel MB , Niedersta?tter H, Parson W. TriXY-Homogeneous genetic sexing of highly degraded forensic samples including hair shafts . Forensic Sci. Int. Genet . 2016 ; 25 , 166 - 174 . https://doi.org/10. 1016/j.fsigen. 2016 . 09 .001 PMID: 27613970
60. Skoglud P , Stora J , Go?therstro?m A , Jakobsson M. Accurate sex identification of ancient human remains using DNA shotgun sequencing . Journal of Archaeological Science . 2013 ; 40 : 4477 - 4482 .
61. Rohland N , Harney E , Mallick S , Nordenfelt S , Reich D. Partial uracil-DNA-glycosylase treatment for screening of ancient DNA . Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci . 2015 ; 370 . https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb. 2013 .0624 PMID: 25487342
62. Fehren-Schmitz L , Jarman CL , Harkins KM , Kayser M , Popp BN , Skoglund P. Genetic Ancestry of Rapanui before and after European Contact . Current Biology . 2017 ; 27 : 3209 - 3215 . e6 . https://doi. org/10.1016/j.cub. 2017 . 09 .029 PMID: 29033334
63. Jo?nsson H, Ginolhac A , Schubert M , Johnson PLF , Orlando L. MapDamage2 . 0: Fast approximate Bayesian estimates of ancient DNA damage parameters . Bioinformatics . 2013 . pp. 1682 - 1684 . https://doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btt193 PMID: 23613487
64. Vohr SH , Gordon R , Eizenga JM , Erlich HA , Calloway CD , Green RE . A phylogenetic approach for haplotype analysis of sequence data from complex mitochondrial mixtures . Forensic Science International: Genetics . 2017 ; 30 : 93 - 105 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fsigen. 2017 . 05 .007 PMID: 28667863
65. Coutinho A , Valverde G , Fehren-Schmitz L , Cooper A , Barreto Romero Ml , Espinoza IF , et al. AmericaPlex26: A SNaPshot Multiplex System for Genotyping the Main Human Mitochondrial Founder Lineages of the Americas . PLoS ONE . 2014 ; 9 ( 3 ): e93292. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone. 0093292 PMID: 24671218
66. Imbelloni J . Los Pueblos Deformadores de Los Andes. La Deformacio?n Intencional de La Cabeza Como Arte Y Como Elemento Diagno?stico de Las Culturas. Anales Del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales . 1933 ; 37 ( 75 ): 209 - 253 .
67. Anton SC . Intentional Cranial Vault Deformation and Induced Changes of the Cranial Base and Face . American Journal of Physical Anthropology . 1989 ; 79 ( 2 ): 253 - 267 . https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa. 1330790213 PMID: 2662783
68. Weiss P. Las Deformaciones Cefa?licas Intencionales Como Factores de La Arqueolog ??a . In Actas Y Memorias Del XXXIX Congreso Internacional de Americanistas. Avalos de Matos R , Ravines R , editors. Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos . 1972 . pp. 165 - 180 .
69. Verano JW . Physical Characteristics and Skeletal Biology of the Moche Population at Pacatnamu . In Donnan CB , Cock GA , editors. The Pacatnamu Papers , Volume 2 : The Moche Occupation . Los Angeles: Fowler Museum of Cultural History. 1997a . pp. 189 - 214 .
70. Nelson , AJ., and Mackey , C. A Reanalysis of the Avispas Burial Mound at Chan Chan . Paper presented at the 76th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology . Sacramento, California, 2011 .
71. Dufour E. , Goepfert N. , Le Neu?n M. , Prieto G. , and Verano JW. 2018 Life History and Origin of the Camelids Provisioning a Mass Killing Sacrifice During the Chimu? Period: Insight from Stable Isotopes . Environmental Archaeology: 1 - 14 .
72. Verano JW . Advances in the Paleopathology of Andean South America . Journal of World Prehistory. 1997b; 11 ( 2 ): 237 - 268 .
73. Verano JW , Titelbaum AR. , Ibarra Ascencios B , Lund Valle M. The northern highlands and cloud forest . In Verano John W, editor. Holes in the Head: The Art and Archaeology of Trepanation in Ancient Peru . Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections Studies in Pre-Columbian Art and Archaeology. 2016 ; (38): 141 - 174 .
74. Brown TA , Nelson DE , Vogel JS , Southon JR . Improved collagen extraction by modified Longin method . Radiocarbon . 1988 ; 30 ( 2 ): 171 - 177 .
75. Hoggarth JA , Culleton BJ , Awe JJ , Kennett DJ . Questioning postclassic continuity at Baking Pot, Belize, using direct AMS 14C dating of human burials . Radiocarbon 2014 ; 56 ( 3 ): 1057 - 1075 .
76. Van Klinken GJ . Bone collagen quality indicators for palaeodietary and radiocarbon measurements . Journal of Archaeological Science . 1999 ; 26 ( 6 ): 687 - 695 .
77. Van der Merwe NJ , Vogel JC. 13C content of human collagen as a measure of prehistoric diet in woodland North America . Nature . 1978 ; 276 ( 5690 ): 815 - 816 . PMID: 364321
78. DeNiro MJ , Epstein S. Influence of diet on the distribution of nitrogen isotopes in animals . Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta . 1981 ; 45 : 341 - 351 .
79. Schoeninger MJ , DeNiro MJ . Nitrogen and carbon siotopic composition of bone collagen from marine and terrestrial animals . Geochimica et Cosmochimica acta . 1984 ; 48 : 625 - 639 .
80. Verano JW , DeNiro MJ . Locals or Foreigners? Morphological, Biometric and Isotopic Approaches to the Question of Group Affinity in Human Skeletal Remains Recovered from Unusual Archaeological Contexts . In Sandford MK, editor. Investigations of Ancient Human Tissue: Chemical Analysis in Anthropology. Pennsylvania . 1993 . pp. 361 - 386 .
81. Richards MP. , Mays S. , and Fuller BT. Stable Carbon and Nitrogen Isotope Values of Bone and Teeth Reflect Weaning Age at the Medieval Wharram Percy Site , Yorkshire, UK. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 119 ( 3 ): 3205 - 10 . 2002 .
82. Reichs J. Forensic Osteology: Advances in the Identification of Human Remains . 2nd ed. Springfield, Ill.: Charles C. Thomas. 1998 .
83. Verano JW . A Mass Burial of Mutilated Individuals at Pacatnamu . In Donnan CB , Cock GA , editors. The Pacatnamu Papers , Volume 1 . Los Angeles: Museum of Cultural History. 1986 . pp. 117 - 138
84. Klaus HD , Turner BL , Salda?a F , Castillo S , Wester C . Human Sacrifice at the Chotuna-Chornancap Archaeological Complex: Traditions and Transformations of Ritual Violence Under Chimu? and Inca Rule . In: Klaus H , Toyne M , editors. Ritual Violence in the Ancient Andes: Reconstructing Sacrifice on the North Coast of Peru . Austin: University of Texas Press; 2016 . pp. 178 - 210 .
85. Robicsek F , Hales D. Maya Heart Sacrifice: Cultural Perspective and Surgical Technique . In Boone EH, editor. Ritual Human Sacrifice in Mesoamerica . Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks. 1984 . pp. 49 - 90 .
86. Kaiser LR , Jamieson GG . Operative thoracic surgery . Oxford University Press, London; New York. 2006 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.surg. 2005 . 07 .029
87. Brown RP , Esmore DS , Lawson C . Improved sternal fixation in the transsternal bilateral thoracotomy incision . The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery . 1996 . 112 ( 1 ): 137 - 141 . PMID: 8691858
88. De Molina C de , Bauer BS , Smith-Oka V , Cantarutti GE . Account of the Fables and Rites of the Incas . Austin: University of Texas Press. 2011 .
89. Kent JD . The Domestication and Exploitation of the South American Camelids: Methods of Analysis and Their Application to Circum-Lacustrine Archaeological Sites in Bolivia and Peru . PhD in Anthropology , St. Louis: Washington University. 1982
90. Izeta AD , Srur MG , y Labarca Encina R. Guia osteome?trica de came?lidos sudamericanos . Cordoba . 2012 .
91. Wheeler JC . Aging Llamas and Alpacas by their teeth . Llama World . 1982 ; 1 ( 2 ): 12 - 17 .
92. Flores-Ochoa JA . Classification et Denomination des Camelides Sud-Americains . Annales ESC (Economies , Societes, Civilisations). 1978 ; 5 ( 6 ): 1006 - 1016 .
93. Miller G . Sacrificio y Beneficio de Camelidos en el Sur del Peru . In Flores-Ochoa JA , editor. Pastores de Puna. Uywamichiq Punarunakuna. Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, Lima, Peru. 1977 . pp. 193 - 210 .
94. Miller G. An Introduction to the Ethnoarchaeology of the Andean Camelids (published dissertation) . Department of Anthropology , Berkeley: University of California. 1979 .
95. Bocherens H , Fizet M , Mariotti A , Lange-Badre B , Vandermeersch B . Isotopic biogeochemistry (13C, 15N) of fossil vertebrate collagen: application to the study of a past food web including Neandertal man . Journal of Human Evolution . 1991 ; 20 : 481 - 492 .
96. Dufour E , Goepfert N , Gutierrez B , Chauchat C , Franco R , Vasquez S , et al. Pastoralism in Northern Peru during Preh-Hispanic Times: Insights from the Mochica Period (100-800 A.D.) based on Stable Isotopic Analysis of Domestic Camelids . PLos ONE . 2014 ; 9 ( 1 ):e87559. https://doi.org/10.1371/ journal.pone. 0087559 PMID: 24498136
97. Szpak P , Millaire JF , White C , Longstaffe F. Small Scale Camelid Husbandry on the North Coast Peru (Viru Valley): Insights from Stable Isotope Analysis . Journal of Anthropological Archaeology . 2014 ; 36 ( 110 - 129 ).
98. Pulgar Vidal J. Geograf ??a del Peru?: las ocho regiones naturales del Peru? . Lima: Universo . 1981 . pp. 313 .
99. Szpak P , White CD , Longstaffe FJ , Millaire JF , Vasquez Sanchez V. Carbon and nitrogen isotopic survey of northern Peruvian plants: Baselines for Paleodietary and Paleoecological Studies . PloS one . 2013 ; 8 : 1 - 28 .
100. Aldhouse-Green MJ . Dying for the Gods: Human Sacrifice in Iron Age & Roman Europe . 1st paperback ed. Stroud: Tempus . 2002 .
101. Smith P , Stager LE , Greene JA , Avishai G . Age estimations attest to infant sacrifice at the Carthage Tophet . Antiquity. 2013 ; 87 ( 338 ): 1191 - 1199 .