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  • Ancient graves hid the skeletons of 269 children and 466 llamas who were ritually sacrificed, and archaeologists still don't know why

    * It's arguably the largest mass sacrifice of children to date. Archaeologists uncovered 269 children, 466 llamas, and 3 adults near the modern-day coastal town of Huanchaco, Peru. * Researchers guess that the mass sacrifice took place during the reign of the Chimú Empire, a pre-Columbian civilisation second only to the Incas. * It's not clear why all those children were put to death. But one theory is that sacrificing their young may have been the Chimú's way of placating the angry weather gods. * Take a look at some of the exclusive images from Huanchaco, featured in the February 2019 issue of National Geographic. * * * Human sacrifice has been around for centuries - the Maya, Aztecs, and ancient Egyptians killed prisoners of war, volunteers, and slaves over the course of their histories. But child sacrifice, especially mass killings, are incredibly rare. Previously, evidence of the largest youth sacrifice ever - 42 children - was discovered at Templo Mayor in Tenochtitlán, the ancient Aztec capital, according to National Geographic. The Chimú people blew that record out of the water. Ruins of Chan Chan, the capital of the Chimú empire, sit nearby the modern-day town of Huanchaco. In 2011, a local pizza shop owner told Gabriel Prieto, a professor of archaeology from the National University of Trujillo, to check out a nearby vacant lot full of human bones. Kristin Romey, archaeology editor for National Geographic and author of the magazine's exclusive article on the Chimú findings, told Business Insider that Prieto assumed the shop owner had found a forgotten cemetery. But once Prieto started digging, he realised the bodies were all children, and all 500 years old. Llamas were unearthed too. Then it came to light that they had all been systematically killed. Since then, Huanchaquito-Las Llamas, or Las Llamas for short, has been a bustle of activity for archaeologists. "As the excavation seasons progressed, the sheer number of victims was just staggering - no one had ever seen anything like it before," Romey said. More burials were uncovered on a nearby site in the summer of 2018. The second site, named Pampa la Cruz, yielded more children and llamas to add to the total. The running tally is 269 children, 466 llamas, and 3 adults. It's the largest mass child sacrifice to date in the archaeological record. In an archaeological saga that began in 2011 and will likely continue in the years to come, experts have tried to understand the what prompted this mass child sacrifice. Take a look at some photos in the February 2019 issue of National Geographic from the excavation sites, which could help archaeologists shed light on what happened that fateful day some 550 years ago. * * * ## Children and baby llamas were sacrificed and buried together. Prieto, along with John Verano of Tulane University led the excavation of both sites. Together, their team confirmed that some 550 years ago, during the twilight of the Chimú empire, this ancient people ritually killed their children. Many of the children - all between ages 5 and 14 - had faces smeared with a red pigment. Their chests were cut open, ribs dislocated, and their hearts were likely removed. The sacrificial llamas that accompanied them met the same grisly fate. Child sacrifice in the archaeological record is rare because it doesn't make a lot of economic sense, Romey said. "For most of human history, making it past the age or five or so was a big thing. It took a lot of effort and luck. So why would a society wipe out a part of their population that they had already spent so many resources on to just to survive past birth, only to get rid of them before they were old enough to work, fight, or reproduce?" * * * ## Sacrificing young llamas was similarly costly, as the animals provided the Chimú with food, transportation, and wool. "Why cull a herd so young?" Romey wondered. The llamas were all 18 months old, buried facing the Andes to the east. Only brown or light brown llamas were killed. Black and white llamas were spared, it seems. Killing a future generation of llamas was also a major sacrifice - these animals were sources of food, wool, and transportation. "In this sense, some think that llamas would have been involved since they were such a critical source of transport, and could aid in movement between our world and the beyond," she said. * * * ## Arguably, the cost of sacrificing a child is far greater than sacrificing an adult. But there may have been spiritual reasons for the choice. "There are arguments that the children were considered liminal - they weren't full-fledged people yet and as such could communicate better with the spiritual world," Romey said. "And of course, there's the emotional argument that it is much more painful and valuable to sacrifice your own flesh and blood rather than an elderly or sick member of the community or a foreign captive." * * * ## Each child was killed with a slash to the sternum. Finding the knife that made the cuts was a 'total Indiana Jones moment' for the archaeologists. The sacrificed children met their deaths at the end of a cut across the sternum. A lack of "false start" cuts suggest that they were made by trained hands, according to National Geographic. "I was literally standing next to Prieto when he unearthed the sacrificial knife," Romey recalled. At first, she and the archaeologist weren't sure what the object was, given the knife's odd shape. "Then he shook it and it made a rattling noise. We just looked at each other in disbelief," she said. "Later on we recalled that it felt like a total Indiana Jones moment." * * * ## Alongside the children, archaeologists found three dead adults. Three adults - two women and one man - were also found buried nearby the Las Llamas site, likely felled by blunt-force trauma to the head. Archaeologists are confident that the three adults were likely involved in the ceremony somehow. They were "disposed of casually without any apparent ritual, and were probably dispatched after they did their part in the ceremony," Romey said. "The one adult male that was found was unusually big for the time, and the researchers suspect that he might possibly have been the executioner." * * * ## Footprints of sandaled adults, barefoot children, and young llamas paint a picture of the mass killing event in a dried mud layer. Analysis of the prints suggest a ritual procession, according to National Geographic. The children and llamas were led to the center of the Las Llamas site alive, where they were then sacrificed and promptly buried. Deep skid marks from hoof prints seems to suggest the llamas were reluctant to meet their grisly ends. * * * ## These children may have been offered up to placate the gods after a season of heavy flooding. One of the prevailing theories for the "why" behind the Chimú's sacrifice is that they were an attempt to appease the purportedly angry weather gods. Right around the time of the sacrifices, between 1400 and 14500, there was an El Niño event, which could've contributed severe rainfall and flooding in the area. That flooding may have wreaked havoc on agriculture, causing the Chimú to starve and take drastic action. * * * ## Romey doesn't think El Niño was the only culprit behind the Chimú's drastic sacrifice. "Most societal collapses come from being hit on all sides by a variety of forces," Romey said. "But it definitely played a big role, as El Nino events really mess with coastal Peru to this day." She pointed out that the Inca were also moving in on the Chimú at the time experts think the sacrifice took place; the takeover was complete about a decade later. "So this was a time of high anxiety, when a once-powerful empire probably felt that things were spinning out of control environmentally, financially, and politically." * * * ## These children all appeared to be well cared for. They came from all over the empire. It's not clear how the children were selected for this ritual. But they were buried without any customary grave goods or adornments, and in odd positions - prone on their backs, or curled up - instead of in the typical sitting position. Interestingly, Prieto found nine Chimú children buried nearby Pampa la Cruz that bucked the mould. These children didn't bear the tell-tale sternum slash, and were buried with headdresses adorned with parrot feathers and carved wooden ornaments, National Geographic reported. The second site provided new information about the Chimú's belief systems and trade networks, thanks to the newly uncovered burials with feathered robes, headdresses, and jewellery. * * * ## Huanchaco boasts an extensive archaeological legacy that will only grow in time. All told, there were 137 children and 206 llamas uncovered at Las Llamas, and 132 children and 260 llamas found at Pampa la Cruz. Romey said archaeologists are continuing to dig at Pampa la Cruz, and she wouldn't be surprised if they found more graves. "This little surfing town, Huanchaco, is literally just beyond the walls of what was once one of the biggest and most powerful cities in the Americas," she said. "Imagine if 500 years from now New York City was a ruin being dug by archaeologists. This would be like digging up Williamsburg and Long Island City." * * * ## National Geographic broke the story of the mass sacrifice earlier in 2018. With an exclusive in their February 2019 issue, they offer a deeper exploration into the forces that drove the Chimu to their violent ends. Why were nine children buried with grave goods and head regalia and the rest not? What societal, or supernatural, forces selected these children in particular for a ritual sacrifice? Each discovery in Huanchaco sheds a little more light on the 550-year-old mystery. But all this is all about trying to get into the heads of a society that lived centuries ago and left no written records, Romey said. So we'll never really know for sure.

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  • A doctor who cared for a woman who gave birth after a suspected rape at an Arizona care center has been suspended, and another has resigned

    * Two doctors who cared for a cognitively impaired woman who gave birth last month at an Arizona care facility are no longer working at the nursing home. * One of the doctors resigned while the other was suspended, the facility said in a statement. * Phoenix Police are investigating the pregnancy as a possible sexual assault. * * * Two doctors are out at the Phoenix, Arizona care facility where a cognitively impaired woman gave birth last month. Both of the doctors worked directly with the unnamed 29-year-old patient, according to a statement Hacienda Healthcare released to local CBS affiliate Arizona's Family. "The two physicians who were responsible for the care of the sexual assault victim are no longer providing medical services to Hacienda patients. One has resigned. The other one has been suspended," the statement reads. The facility's statement continues: "Once again, we offer an apology and send our deepest sympathy to the client and her family. Hacienda intends to do everything possible to restore its credibility in the eyes of our patients, families, the community and our agency partners at every level." Read more: Police are investigating a second assault accusation at the Arizona care facility where a woman gave birth while in a vegetative state ## We're learning more about the woman's condition Meanwhile, INSIDER is learning new details about the woman's condition through the family's lawyer, John Micheaels. In an email to INSIDER on Tuesday, Micheaels said his client "is not in a vegetative state," as previously reported, but "significantly cognitively impaired." While previous reports said she ended up in this condition due to a near-drowning incident as a child, Micheaels said this was misreported as well and it was actually due to seizures she suffered as a kid. The victim's family also issued a statement through Micheaels on Tuesday, clarifying her condition: "The victim's parents would like to make clear that their daughter is not in a coma. She has significant intellectual disabilities as a result of seizures very early her childhood. She does not speak but has some ability to move her limbs, head and neck. "Their daughter responds to sound and is able to make facial gestures. The important thing is that she is a beloved daughter, albeit with significant intellectual disabilities. She has feelings, likes to be read to, enjoys soft music and is capable of responding to people she is familiar with, especially family." It's unclear how the description of the woman's condition, and how she ended up impaired, was misreported for weeks. INSIDER first reached out to Micheaels on January 9, but didn't receive a response. The sexual assault investigation into her pregnancy continues. Earlier this month, Phoenix Police were granted warrants to take DNA samples from the male staff at the facility in an attempt to identify the baby's father. Meanwhile, the state has ordered the facility to hire an outside manager to run the facility. * Read more about Hacienda Healthcare: * The woman who gave birth in a vegetative state has given a face to an issue that happens with disturbing frequency * Former caregiver of the nursing home patient who gave birth while in a vegetative state says she never could have given consent, and an ex-manager claims the company covered up another sexually inappropriate incident * The Arizona nursing facility where a woman gave birth in a vegetative state after presumably being raped had previously been cited for another complaint of inappropriate behaviour * At the Arizona nursing home where a woman gave birth in a vegetative state, an employee was fired in 2013 for making 'inappropriate, sexual' comments to patients

  • 12 people reveal how they found out their dad had a 'second family'

    * Sometimes individuals find out that one of their parents had another family besides their own. * In some cases, individuals discover this by having a shared name as someone else. * Other times, they discovered that their father had another family (or multiple other families) using DNA tests or by seeing their father with another child. * * * Sometimes, married individuals decide to start second families and keep them a secret from some of their loved ones. But in some cases, it's only a matter of time until the truth comes out - and the truth can come out in some surprising ways. Here are 12 stories from Reddit users about how they or someone in their life discovered their father had a second family. INSIDER cannot independently authenticate these stories. * * * ## "After my parents' 10-year anniversary church wedding, someone called the church registrar saying that she was the legal wife." "After my parents' 10-year anniversary church wedding, someone called the church registrar saying that she was the legal wife. The secretary from the registrar proceeded to call my mum to inform her about it. My mum did investigations on her own a full week after the event. "She eventually found out that my dad had a daughter with his mistress and he had been staying with them five days a week. His excuse was always, 'Work is hectic so I might as well stay at someone's place.' Yeah, right. Mum decided to end the relationship and the whole family was in chaos." - Reddit user soleillie18 * * * ## "Two families showed up at the funeral." "[When my friend's dad died,] two families showed up at the funeral. Guy had two wives and five kids total. No one knew anything; it was a huge shock and it basically messed up everyone involved. "Many years later, my friend is close and has a good relationship with his half-siblings but his mum and sisters never really got over it and pretend they don't exist ..." - Reddit user Aneley13 * * * ## "When I was looking at his tax return, it showed a girl's name as a dependent." "I found out my dad had a daughter after my parents divorced. When I was 18 looking at his tax return for college financial aid, it showed a girl's name as a dependent. I never asked him about it until a few years back when she contacted me on social media asking if I was her brother." - Reddit user brandnvsworld * * * ## "I met a person with an unusual name on a small gaming forum." "My dad had a daughter with a Nicaraguan woman who lived in America and [when I was younger] he would go to America on 'work trips.' He got banned from America after overstaying and my mother knew the entire time. They never said anything my entire life. "Then, I met a person with an unusual name on a small gaming forum, talked about it to my parents, and everyone loses their s--- because it turned out she was my half-sister. They verified it and everything and had to cough up photos I still have. Now she's the only person who's remotely related to me that I can stand." - Reddit user GahDemArmsRace * * * ## "My wife's friend witnessed her father hugging a girl in another class." "This happened to my wife's friend. The father was a fireman and his two daughters lived down the block. It turns out he had a second family, also with two daughters a few blocks away. "The second woman knew he had a wife and kids, but they never told their daughters. The fireman did one of those safety talks in school and gave a hug to one of the daughters from the second family before he left. My wife's friend witnessed her father hugging a girl in another class and asked about it at dinner. Things went downhill from there." - Reddit user Marmorset * * * ## "[He] started dating this girl that had the same last name as him." "I had a friend in high school who started dating this girl that had the same last name as him. Turns out, she was his half-sister and his dad was raising two families he kept secret from each other." - Reddit user manbearbatman * * * ## "My mum and I knew her and thought she was just my cousin." "I found out my dad had a secret daughter. My mum and I knew her and thought she was just my cousin. Turns out, my dad had an affair with his brother's wife. So she was kind of my sister and my cousin at the same time. "She just showed up one day saying she came to visit and gave my dad a letter she had written. I never read it myself but it was apparently very emotional saying she hated knowing she was lying to everyone. My mum didn't seem to be affected by it much, but my parents got divorced a year later. I think my uncle who thought she was his daughter for 19 years took it the hardest." - Reddit user imoutotrash * * * ## "Another sibling did a DNA test and made her results public." "Well, my wife has recently found out she has at least eight half-siblings. Apparently, another sibling did a DNA test and made her results public or something. One of the unknown half-siblings had done the same and voila." - Reddit user M_Russell_Blowhard * * * ## "His wife goes to get the birth certificate for her son and the lady in the office gives her the one which belongs to the mistress' son." "A friend from work told me this story. Her sister married this guy who turned out to be having about three affairs. When she gave birth to their first son, the guy's mistress also gave birth about two weeks after. The idiot decided to name both of his sons the same first name and both kids also shared his second name. "So about three years later, his wife goes to get the birth certificate for her son and the lady in the office gives her the one which belongs to the mistress' son, which is how she found out about the whole situation. They're divorced now, and it turned out he guy has 11 children with five different women." - Reddit user Kussa_Low * * * ## "He decided he just liked one family more than the other." "My grandpa was one of those men that 'married' two women and had two families - both in the same city. From what my mum told me, he'd go on week-long business trips every other week. He managed to do this for about 15 years. "The kids started to get older and he decided he just liked one family more than the other. Unfortunately, it was not my mother's family he chose. He turned his back on three teenagers and a single mum in the '60s. It really messed them up. I got to meet him only a few times and all I can tell you about the man is his name and that I know he stayed with his other family the rest of his life." - Reddit user clientnotfound * * * ## "Both of his sons, who both had the same first, middle, AND last name, ended up at the same high school together." "This happened to two guys I went to school with. Their dad had a secret second family for 14 years until both of his sons, who both had the same first, middle, AND last name, ended up at the same high school together. In the same class, even. They also looked so similar to each other that they may as well have been twins. "They both immediately confronted their parents in a 'Hey, something weird happened today…' way, and that's it, the secret was out. The wife and the mistress left him not long after, but the half-brothers went on to be really good friends." - Reddit user spiderbundles * * * ## "During roll call, they called her name, and she and another girl responded." "This happened to one of my grand aunts. She was in third or fourth grade and it was the first day of school. During roll call, they called her name, and she and another girl responded; it turned out they both had the same first and last name (different middle names). "They became instant friends because of the shared names and started talking about their families; they then realised that their dad also shared the same first name and last name - even middle name - and looked very similar as well. Once my aunt got home and told all this to her mum, all heck broke loose. It turns out that her father had been fathering children around the neighbourhood and letting the women use his last name for the baby. I think it came out that he had like 20 children altogether." - Reddit user ryknw01 Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.