118 Remains of Human Sacrifices Discovered After Scientists Explore ‘Midnight Terror Cave’

New research paints a picture of pre-Columbian human sacrifice in a Belizean archaeological site known as the “Midnight Terror Cave.”

From 2008 to 2010, archaeologists excavated the human remains of 118 individuals they believe were the victims of Maya human sacrifice rituals.

Human remains recovered from the grisly site were extensively studied, and some remains have been identified as belonging to children, according to the Washington Post.

Professor Amy Chan of California State University is proposing new theories on the circumstances of the deceased individuals, citing the discovery of unusual blue fibers found in dental remains recovered from the cave.

In an academic study published last month, Chan outlined why she believes the blue coloration of what she calls “dental calculus” is present in the remains on purpose.

“The fibers were found in both operations indicating a larger trend at work and not accidental contamination,” Chan said of the evaluation of two different tooth samples obtained from the cave.

“[A] possible explanation is that the fibers were present after using gags as the victims were paraded from town to town, then to the sacrificial site,” Chan theorized of the blue fibers.

Human sacrifice took on a highly ritualized and even religious veneer in Mayan culture.

Chan clarified that a gag isn’t the only possibility and cited ritual use of blue as a color in Mayan ceremonies as a potential connection.

The blue dental remains could stem from the consumption of a Mesoamerican alcoholic drink provided to sacrificial victims before their killings, according to Chan.

Other possibilities include ancient dentistry.

The bones in question are believed to have belonged to individuals who died between 250 to 925 A.D.

The cave received its dark name from a 2006 incident in which a looter fell sixty feet after a drop at the cave’s mouth, the Post reported.

Responders who arrived to rescue the man witnessed a massive collection of human bones that had been left behind centuries ago.

Human sacrifice was a common practice in several pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures.

The Aztecs, a culture distinct from the Mayans based in modern-day Mexico, engaged in prolific human sacrifice rituals.

The arrival of Christianity in the New World put an end to ancient Mesoamerican human sacrifice practices.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.