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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

MEXICO- The AZTEC RITUALS OF HUMAN SACRIFICES

kEYWORDS: history, Mexico, Aztec, Maya, religion, monuments, ancient rituals, travel, tourism, backpacking, landscapes, air travel.


The Aztec/Mexica believed that sacrifice to the gods was necessary to ensure the continuity of the world and the balance of the universe. They distinguished between two types of sacrifice: those involving humans and those involving animals or other offerings.
Human sacrifices included both self-sacrifice as well as the sacrifice of the lives of other human beings. For the Aztecs, human sacrifices fulfilled multiple purposes, both at the religious and socio-political level. They considered themselves the “elected” people, the people of the Sun who had been chosen by the gods to feed them and were responsible for the continuity of the world.

Human sacrifice usually involved death by heart extraction. The victims were chosen carefully according to their physical characteristics and to the gods to whom they would be sacrificed. Some gods were honoured with brave war captives, other just with slaves. Men, children and women were sacrificed. Children were especially chosen to be sacrificed to Tlaloc, the rain god. The Aztecs believed that the tears of new-born or very young children could ensure rain.

The most important place where sacrifices occurred was the Huey Teocalli, El Templo Mayor (Great Temple) of Tenochtitlan. Here a specialised priest removed the heart from the victim and the body was thrown down the steps of the pyramid, while his head was cut off and placed on the tzompantli, or skull rack.The chosen victim would be treated as a personification on earth of the god until the sacrifice took place. The preparation and purification rituals often lasted more than 1 year, and during this period the victim was took care of, fed, and honoured by servants(www.about.com).

However, not all sacrifices took place on top of the mountains.El Conquistador Bernal Diaz del Castillo, the discoverer of Yukatan in 1517, sailed from Cuba in search of new lands, landed on the coast of Campeachy in search of fresh water. Although they were received cordially by the natives, it soon became evident that they wanted the Spaniards to leave and Bernal Diaz and his companions saw some Indians who were coming towards them, all dressed in long white robes, their thick hair entangled and clotted with blood. These persons were priests.

There is evidence that ritual human sacrifice was prevalent in Celtic society 2,500 years ago. The ritually sacrifised their kings to honour their gods. The evidence for human sacrifice in the period of the Iron Age is most prolific in Denmark, Germany and Holland, where many bodies have been found completely preserved in peat bogs. Some were hanged or strangled, the noose still around their neck, and others were bludgeoned on the head or had their throat slit. According to Diodorus Siculus, the Gauls 'kill a man by a knife-stab in the region above the midriff, and after his fall they foretell the future by the convulsions of his limbs and the pouring of his blood'. gladiatorial games and feeding people to lions were regular sport, whilst many thousands of conquered Celts in Gaul were victims of Roman atrocities, such as cutting off their hands and feet and leaving them to die slowly(BBC-Ancient-History.co.uk).

There are many passages in Bible about the ritual human sacrifice, rape, murder and slavery and so are
 the details of the Evil of Torah. The ancient civilizations of Canaanites, Etruscans, Celts, Romans, Guals, Minoans, Carthaginians, Scythians and Chimu, all practiced rituals of  human sacrifice.   







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