The discovery of several skeletal remains at the foot of an ancient temple that had the shape of a crescent moon in the city of Gyeongju (South Korea) suggests that the legends about rituals with human sacrifices performed by the Silla dynasty during the years that ruled the region, between 57 a. C. to 935 d. C., were a reality, inform local media.
In 2017 archaeologists discovered the remains of a man and a woman under the walls of the Wolseong Palace. But despite the fact that at the beginning it was considered that the death of the couple could have been accidental, the discovery in April of this year of a third body belonging to a woman of approximately 20 years strengthens the theory that there was a practice of human sacrifice.
Choi Byung-heon, a researcher at Soongsil University, explained that the burial dates from the 4th century, the same time the palace was built, and that the deaths may have been some kind of offering for the construction to stand firm for the next few years.
None of the bodies showed signs of fighting and animal bones were also found near the first two skeletons along with a series of objects used for ancient rites. Meanwhile, an analysis of the remains of the third body revealed that the woman suffered from chronic malnutrition that stunted her growth, a sign of her low social status.
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Another unusual sign that specialists noticed is that the three they were buried facing the sky on the western wall of the palace, directly in front of where a gate would have been.
Experts recall that this is consistent with the historical records about these rituals that were carried out just before making the doors or before starting the most important stages of construction.
Wolseong Palace was the main complex of the Silla dynasty, and its name translates as ‘castle of the moon’. The researchers are convinced that their ancestors practiced human sacrifice, but they hope to draw more conclusions after studying other remains in the area.