Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Archaeologists exploring an area of north Peru formerly inhabited by the Chimu civilization have found the remains of 132 children, evidence of one of the largest human sacrifices in world history.
The remains, along with those of 260 young llamas, were found near the coastal town of Huanchaco, about 352 miles northwest of Lima, El Comercio reported Tuesday.
"This is about four sacrifice events carried out between 1200 and 1520, or one per century. This shows that even after the Inca conquest they continued with human sacrifices," archaeologist Gabriel Prieto told the newspaper.
"We have found 10 tombs, apparently children from the Chimu elite, because they were buried with artifacts and painted clothes."
The children's ages varied between 5 and 14 years, he added.
While the findings were made on the coast, they included seeds and feathers from the Amazon region located on the other side of the Andes mountains, the report said.
The exploration was financed by National Geographic, and detailed in its February issue.
Last April, National Geographic reported a different finding of 137 children and 206 llamas in the Huanchaquito-Las Llamas area, located about a mile away from the new discovery.
National Geographic said the find is the largest to date in the Americas, and probably the world.
The Chimu, their capital in Chan Chan, created the second-largest empire in the history of the ancient Andes. It's known for its architecture and gold artworks. They also built an extensive irrigation system using canals that made it possible to cultivate desert areas.
The Chimu were conquered by the Incas in 1470. Among the Chimu practices adopted by the Incas were the policy of allowing conquered lands autonomy and certain art features.