They find mummified llamas that would have been buried alive by the Incas more than 500 years ago in Peru

They find mummified llamas that would have been buried alive by the Incas more than 500 years ago in Peru


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Radiocarbon dating of the find also shows that the Incas reached the Acari Valley earlier than previously thought.

Four mummified llamas, among other offerings, were unearthed by archaeologists at a site inOld Tambo, which was an Inca administrative and ceremonial center in the Acari Valley, located on the southern coast of Peru.

As detailed in a study published this Thursday in the journal Antiquity, the animals, found in 2018, have been preserved"Exceptionally well" thanks to the arid climate of the region.

The llamas were "deposited in pits excavated under clay floors that represent the second and final phase of occupation of the structures" at Tambo Viejo. Since their bodiesshow no signs of violent death and its legs were tied, the researchers assume that they wereburied alive. Along with them, guinea pigs were also found.

Radiocarbon dating revealed that they were buriedbetween 1432 and 1459, several decades before 1476, the generally accepted date of the annexation of that territory by the Inca Empire.

«If these radiometric dates are accurate, it seems thatthe Incas came to the Acari valley long before«, Indicate the scientists.

The study authors point out that the practice of llama sacrifice among the Incas is well known thanks to written sources from the colonial period. At the same time, they stressed that the offering "shows that the relationship between the Incas and cattle extended beyond the simple provision of meat."

"Domesticated animals played a key role in the ritual performances and political life of the Incas," who "invested resources and social energy to transform the pre-existing local associations of the newly conquered territory into a series ofnew cultural meanings associated with the ideology and religion of the Inca Empire«Conclude the researchers.

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