Peru: Dozens of children found at 15th century sacrificial site had hearts removed

(Photo:Sky News)

More than 140 youngsters were found buried alongside three adults and 200 animals following the 15th century ritual.

Scientists released images of the excavation, which began in 2011, of dead girls and boys aged five to 14 seemingly huddled together in burial pits.

They were killed by having their chests cut open, many with their hearts removed.

Evidence suggests the sacrifice was to do with a “climactic event” that could have hit the “economic, political and ideological stability of one of the most powerful states in the New World”.