Largest child sacrifice in history discovered in Peru

CNN 
By: Amir Vera and Natalie Gallón
Photo: Courtesy of CNN

Photo Caption: This April 22, 2011, photo provided by National Geographic shows more than a dozen bodies preserved in dry sand for more than 500 years, at the Huanchaquito-Las Llamas site near Trujillo, Peru.

Original content from CNN.  

(CNN) - Scientists have unearthed a dark secret in Peru.

The skeletal remains of more than 140 children and 200 baby llamas were found on the country's northern coast. It may be evidence of the largest child sacrifice in history, according to an exclusive report by National Geographic, released Thursday on its website. The remains of a man and two women were also found.

The sacrifices are believed to have taken place 550 years ago in the pre-Columbian Chimú Empire, in a sacrificial site formerly known as Huanchaquito-Las Llamas, close to a UNESCO World Heritage site of Chan Chan, in the modern town of Trujillo.

The children ranged in age from 5 to 14, according to the report. The baby llamas were less than 18 months old.

Read the rest of this story and view the photos at CNN.