The Aztecs

"There is one activity for which the 'Aztecs' were notorious: the large-scale killing of humans in ritual sacrifices. The killings were not remote, top-of-the pyramid affairs. If only high priests and rulers killed, they carried out most of their butchers' work en plein air, and not only in the main temple precinct, but in the neighborhood temples and on the streets. The people were implicated in the care and preparation of the victims, and then in the elaborate processing of the body: the dismemberment and distribution of heads and limbs, flesh and blood and flayed skins. On high occasions warriors carrying gourds of human blood or wearing the dripping skins of their captives ran through the streets, to be ceremoniously welcomed into the dwellings; the flesh of their victims seethed in domestic cooking pots; human side bones, scraped and dried, were set up in the courtyard of the households..." -- Inga Clendinnen, quoted in John Gray, The Soul of the Marionette, pp. 75-76

1 comment:

  1. Yikes!

    I saw Mayan ruins once, with sculptures everywhere depicting cutting heads off and such in ritual sacrifice. And supposedly they were fairly peaceful compared to the Aztecs.

    But I had no idea it was that bad...

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