1000 to 1100 CE, human sacrifice Cahokia Mounds a pre-Columbian Native American site
The practice of human sacrifice in America’s largest prehistoric city, the remains of sacrificial victims at the ancient city of Cahokia reveal that those who were killed were not captives taken from outlying regions, as many archaeologists had believed. Instead, they may have been residents of the same community that killed them. When Cahokia was at its peak 900 years ago, it was the largest city in what’s now the United States, a metropolis of about 15,000 people in southwestern Illinois, whose economic and cultural influence reached from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. But one of the many mysteries lingering among the city’s ruins, just outside modern-day St. Louis, is a burial mound excavated in the 1960s and found to contain more than 270 bodies — almost all of them young women killed as victims of human sacrifice. Dated to between 1000 and 1100 CE, their remains were mostly buried in large pits, laid out in neat rows, and bearing few signs of physical trauma, perhaps killed by strangulation or blood-letting. But the mound also contained a striking group of outliers: a separate deposit of some 39 men and women, ranging in age from 15 to 45, who — unlike the rest — had been subjected to all manner of physical violence: brutal fractures, shot with stone points still embedded in their bones, even decapitation. Ref