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Who were the victims of Maya sacrifice? Ancient DNA reveals an unexpected finding трипскан darknethe ancient Maya city of Chichén Itzá in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula has long been associated with human sacrifice, with hundreds of bones unearthed from temples, a sacred sinkhole and other underground caverns.A long-held misconception is that the victims were often young and female — an impression that has stuck in the contemporary imagination and become hard to dislodge even as more recent research has suggested that both men and women were among those sacrificed as well as children. A study published Wednesday in the journal Nature adds unexpected detail to that more complex picture.The new analysis, based on ancient DNA from the remains of 64 people who archaeologists believe had been ritually sacrificed and then deposited in an underground chamber, found the victims were all young boys, many of whom were closely related.“There were two big moments of surprise here,” said lead study author Rodrigo Barquera, a researcher in the department of archaeogenetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.“We were thinking, influenced by traditional archaeology that we would find, a non-sex-biased burial or mostly girls,” he said.“And the second one (was) when we found out that some of them were related and there were two sets of twins.”

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