Archaeology Magazine

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Moche Sacrifice Victims Were Likely Prisoners of War

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Moche Sacrifical VictimsTRUJILLO, PERU--Analysis of victims’ bones and teeth suggests that the Moche sacrificed their prisoners of war rather than their community’s elites. A team of researchers studied the bones of 34 individuals from Huaca de Moche, an expanding city of as many as 25,000 people in 600 A.D. Those buried in orderly graves had grown up drinking the local river water. Young men who had been dismembered and buried in pits were from distant valleys. “Who you are choosing to kill, who you are choosing to sacrifice, says a lot about how you see other people. We are seeing a long-term shift in the origins of sacrifice victims to farther and farther away,” explained J. Marla Toyne of the University of Central Florida.