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Pacopampa Skeletons Bear Healed Injuries

Monday, October 16, 2017

KANAGAWA PREFECTURE, JAPAN—According to a report in The Asahi Shimbun, archaeologists have found evidence of brutal injuries on skeletons dating from between the thirteenth and sixth centuries B.C. at Peru’s ceremonial center of Pacopampa. Tomohito Nagaoka of St. Marianna University School of Medicine said the remains of seven of the 104 individuals uncovered by the joint Peruvian-Japanese excavation team bore evidence of severe injuries, including fractures to the skull, facial features, and limbs, and a dislocated elbow joint. The bodies lacked signs of defensive wounds, and they were recovered in ceremonial areas of Pacopampa. Some of the traumatic injuries had healed, and no signs of malnutrition was found in the bones. All of the injured were aged 35 or older. Yuji Seki, head of the investigation, speculates that elite groups living at Pacopampa may have fought each other to ward off disaster and pray for good harvests. “These elite groups, such as oracles, might have repeatedly taken part in combat by throwing stones and using clubs,” Seki said. For more on archaeology in Peru, go to “Painted Worlds.”

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