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Humans found buried with strangled dogs at Prehistoric site in Peru

Ian Harvey

Remains of two humans who had died violent deaths around 1,000 years ago and were buried with two guinea pigs and ten dogs that were most likely strangled have been found in Peru. One of the bodies found was that of an adolescent boy who was positioned as if he was hugging the pregnant dog found next to him.

Huaca San Borja Archaeological site

Huaca San Borja Archaeological site

Archaeologists discovered the 12 animals and 2 humans in the remains of an ancient temple of the Ychsma people, a pre-Incan civilisation, in Lima’s Parque de las Leyendas zoo.

 

It was stated that the dogs’ legs were tied up, they had leashes about their necks, and they were buried in a sleeping position. The researchers thought the dogs were sacrifices for the gods, or that the natives killed them to guide them into the afterlife.

The dogs all had brown fur, as did the guinea pigs. Evidently, these are not the first human and dog burials discovered within the zoo. In 2012 remains of 138 dogs and 134 humans were found. It is unknown how the humans died.

Pyramid with ramp Pachacámac, typical Ychsame culture Photo Credit

Pyramid with ramp Pachacámac, typical Ychsame culture Photo Credit

Several of the dogs were so well preserved that their ears and noses were intact. The humans found were mostly between the ages of 20 and 40, and did not die of natural causes. Several of them display signs of ferocious injuries, including broken limbs, cracked ribs, and skull fractures. These injuries show no sign of having healed, meaning they were carried out instantly before death and were most likely lethal. The dogs display no signs of lethal wounds on their skeletons, leading archaeologists to suppose that they were strangled.