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Ancient Children’s Cemetery Unearthed by Pipeline Workers in Peru

In a surprising discovery, Peruvian workers installing a gas pipeline in Lima uncovered eight bundles of funeral items believed to be approximately 1,000 years old. Archaeologists suggest that this site likely served as a children’s cemetery. The finding, located in the Carabayllo district in northern Lima, indicates that the site may have been a burial ground for children who succumbed to severe anemia, likely caused by a climate event that impacted local agriculture.

Early analysis suggests that “nutritional stress” could have contributed to the high mortality rate of children, which explains the abundance of infant burials at the site, according to Jesus Bahamonde Schreiber, an archaeologist working for the gas company Calidda.

Of the eight bundles discovered, six were associated with children, while two were related to adults. These bundles are believed to be between 1,100 and 800 years old, connecting them to the pre-Inca Ychma and Chancay cultures that thrived in northern Peru and along its central coastline.

Peru is famous for the iconic Machu Picchu, a mountain-top Inca retreat that attracts millions of tourists each year. However, the region was home to various pre-Hispanic cultures that flourished in the centuries before the rise of the Inca empire. In metropolitan Lima, there are approximately 400 huacas (ancient tombs or monuments) and other archaeological ruins scattered throughout residential neighborhoods.

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