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Feeding the gods: Hundreds of skulls reveal massive scale of Aztec human sacrifice

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  • Feeding the gods: Hundreds of skulls reveal massive scale of Aztec human sacrifice

    Title slightly edited for length

    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/...-aztec-capital

    The priest quickly sliced into the captive's torso and removed his still-beating heart. That sacrifice, one among thousands performed in the sacred city of Tenochtitlan, would feed the gods and ensure the continued existence of the world.

    Death, however, was just the start of the victim's role in the sacrificial ritual, key to the spiritual world of the Mexica people in the 14th to the 16th centuries.

  • #2
    Very interesting article, especially in light of the murders by the cartels in modern day Mexico. Thanks for posting!

    "The killing of captives, even in a ritual context, is a strong political statement," Verano says. "It's a way to demonstrate power and political influence—and, some people have said, it's a way to control your own population."

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    • #3
      it's a way to control your own population
      So, it's like The Purge ?

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      • #4
        Bad hombres

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        • #5
          To think the Conquistadors destroyed such a enlightened civilization...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ivan le Fou View Post
            To think the Conquistadors destroyed such a enlightened civilization...
            Well its not like that human sacrifice was not practiced in certain parts of Europe only few hundred years before Spanish meeting mesoamerican tribes.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Asheren View Post

              Well its not like that human sacrifice was not practiced in certain parts of Europe only few hundred years before Spanish meeting mesoamerican tribes.
              The key words being a few hundred years before.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ivan le Fou View Post

                The key words being a few hundred years before.
                Compared to how Europe had its first literate civilization in Minoans from crete some thousand years before the Americas. It does make a difference on where you put the lines. Never mind the Americas were largely isolated from the rest of the then developed world in terms of trade and everything else that comes with being in contact.

                Or you can go back to calling them savages.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ivan le Fou View Post

                  The key words being a few hundred years before.
                  in

                  The moral high ground you are looking from is not very high. About 300 years if I remember correctly. Aztec empire was about 200 years old.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Asheren View Post
                    in

                    The moral high ground you are looking from is not very high. About 300 years if I remember correctly. Aztec empire was about 200 years old.
                    I'm confused... are you saying that there were still human sacrifices in Europe past 1000AD? Which civilization?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BogT View Post

                      I'm confused... are you saying that there were still human sacrifices in Europe past 1000AD? Which civilization?

                      North eastern europe in general. There are sources and findings pointing that it was still the thing in 11-12th century.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Asheren View Post


                        North eastern europe in general. There are sources and findings pointing that it was still the thing in 11-12th century.
                        I quickly made a google search... http://www.strangehistory.net/2011/0...ice-in-europe/

                        The last traditional human sacrifice from Europe surely dates back to the Viking Middle Ages when the Norse still killed humans at their boat burials: examples can be given from the Isle of Man in the west to the Volga in the east. They also killed in their sacrificial groves, most famously at Upsalla.
                        I'll accept Vikings in the Middle Ages, but everything else is not a civilization build around human sacrifice.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ivan le Fou View Post
                          To think the Conquistadors destroyed such a enlightened civilization...
                          Well they were quite organised primitives. Yet they never invented wheel and there was no sign that they would've progressed without European interference.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BogT View Post

                            I quickly made a google search... http://www.strangehistory.net/2011/0...ice-in-europe/



                            I'll accept Vikings in the Middle Ages, but everything else is not a civilization build around human sacrifice.

                            There is document from i think 1200 stating that Slavs still practiced human sacrifices.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Asheren View Post


                              There is document from i think 1200 stating that Slavs still practiced human sacrifices.
                              So you are saying that pagan sacrifing was similar to organised death cult and rampant canibalism by elites? It estimated that Aztects sacrificed from 2000 to 250,000 per year. All mesoamerican civs were death cultists and in some circles this death cult survived up to today.

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