Worlds Largest Child Sacrifice Found In Peru

The Chimú Empire site of Las Llamas, a windswept bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, witnessed a horrific mass sacrifice 550 years ago. The skeletons of 140 children between the ages of 5 and 14 have been found so far. Footprints reveal how the children were dragged to the site before being ritually slaughtered with knife blows to the sternum. Based on the marks on their skeletons, the children likely had their hearts cut out. About 200 young llamas were also sacrificed at the site, hence the name.

Las Llamas is the only known example of mass child sacrifice in the Americas -- and perhaps in the entire world. Archaeological evidence of severe weather patterns, and flooding, suggest the Chimú were driven to such a drastic sacrifice by the threat of natural disaster and its natural result, starvation.

Shield of the Sun God Radiant

Mayan panel, showing in stunning relief Upakal K'inich Janaab Pakal of the city of Palenque. His name means "shield of the sun god radiant," and honors an earlier king of Palenque, K'inich Janaab Pakal.   The panel was crafted around 700 - 800 CE.

An Emir Once Controlled Part of France

Yes, what you’re thinking is true, an Islamic ruler once ruled France?!?!

At the greatest extent of Al-Andalus, a province of the Umayyad Caliphate, it controlled a piece of southern France. As well as most of modern Spain and all of modern Portugal. From 719 to 759 -- that’s a full forty years -- Muslim rulers controlled the port city of Narbonne. Depending on the year, they also controlled various nearby cities including  Nîmes, Béziers, and Avignon. The Islamic rulers weren't entirely unpopular, either. Narbonne was satisfied enough with Umayyad rule that it successfully defended itself, twice, from Frankish attempts to retake the city.

This Warrior Had Magnificent Eyebrows!

Fragment of a bowl depicting a mounted warrior. Fatimid dynasty, dating to the 1000s. Found in Fustat, Egypt

Scotland Has Liked Its Whiskey For A Long Time

The first written record of Scotch Whiskey was made of June 1st, 1495. And it comes from an accountant. The Scottish Exchequer was responsible for recording royal income and expenditure in Scotland. The well-preserved calfskin parchment, better known as vellum, bears an entry on 1 June 1495 that records “To Friar John Cor, by order of the King, to make aqua vitae VIII bolls of malt.”

The Latin term aqua vitae means ‘water of life’. In Scottish Gaelic this same phrase translates as uisge-beatha, the first word being pronounced ‘ush-kee’. English language transcriptions subsequently recorded the word as ‘whisky’.

The First English Queen Since The Norman Conquest Caused Quite A Scandal

In 1464 when Elizabeth Woodville, widow of a Baron's heir, married Edward IV, king of England, it was a bit of a crazy match. She was way below his station. Woodville's father was a mere knight. Woodville's mother was the widow of a duke before her remarriage, and related to the royal line of Luxembourg, but in that day and age importance came through the male line, not the female line.
Elizabeth Woodville was also a non-virgin, with two sons from her previous marriage. Royal consort's virginity was greatly prized at a time when there was no real way to check the paternity of a child. Although as Edward IV pointed out, her two sons did show that Woodville was fertile. That's something you can't know for certain with a virgin bride.
Their marriage was secret, and the ceremony announced only after the fact -- after a couple months, too. That's very different from the usual royal marriage ceremonies, involving lots of preparations and lots of tax money. To make it even more scandalous, this was not necessarily Edward IV's first secret marriage. He already had at least one child from a previous relationship, who may have been considered legitimate because the child was raised by Edward IV's mother. Unfortunately, the child's mother is unknown and there is no record of a true marriage. But that previous secret marriage was widely believed to have happened. If it did, and the woman still lived, Edward IV could have been a bigamist. Making his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville invalid.
The icing on the cake, if the cake is anti-Woodville, was that Elizabeth Woodville was five years older than her husband! When they married the young king was 22, and Woodville was 27. Quel scandale!

Have you heard of the “Blythe Intaglios”?

In 1932, pilot George Palmer was flying from Las Vegas to Blythe, Calif., when he saw drawings sketched on the desert. Someone had scraped away the dark surface soil to draw three human figures, two four-legged animals, and a spiral.

Like the more famous Nazca Lines in Peru, the Blythe Intaglios had gone unnoticed for so long because they were too big! The largest is over 170 feet long. Much too big to be seen from the ground. No local Native American group claims to have made them; radiocarbon dating places their creation between 900 BCE and 1200 CE.

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    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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