Aztecs: Human Sacrifice

838 Words4 Pages
After the vanish of a once-dominant civilization in Mesoamerica, the Toltecs, the Aztecs arrived around the thirteenth century. Tenochtitlan, the Aztecs’ famous capital city, was constructed and the Aztecs were soon enough the most dominant force in their part of Mexico. The Aztecs were famous for many of their accomplishments and their society’s intricate structures, but their religious practices were particularly famous—or rather, infamous. Human sacrifice was only a part of the strict ritual processes, which were for the gods and goddesses worshiped by the people. It was thought that the Aztecs’ religion had to do with fear of nature and the end of the world. The Aztecs did not begin the trend of human sacrifice. It was thought to be the…show more content…
Although human sacrifice was the topic that people most talked and debated about, there were actually several different types of sacrifices. Animals were sacrificed as well, along with bloodletting, where people would offer blood by cutting themselves. The gods were believed to be nourished after the feeding of human blood. There was also the act of burning meat or pouring blood over the statues of the gods so that the deities would consume the givings directly. The basic human sacrifice was held on top of pyramids, where the victim was stretched over a stone and had his or her heart ripped out using tools like flint knives. The ripped heart would then be placed in a vessel of stone or in a stone figure, and consequently burnt to offer to the gods. Humans were sacrificed in other ways like being shot with arrows, burned, drowned, or being killed in a gladiator…show more content…
It was mostly based on how a person died. Some were thought to be reincarnated as animals, insects, humans, or remained as a disembodied soul floating aimlessly. Dead people were buried in a squatting position along with items that would guide them through their “journey.” Anyhow, the topic of sacrifice must have struck indescribable fear in the minds of the Aztecs both in and outside the empire. The Aztecs were known for being bloodthirsty and for worshipping cruel gods, but sacrifice had a great significance in Aztec religion. It was always thought as a repayment for the gods that had created the world and the sun—however, the massive loss of human lives through sacrifice consequently weakened a powerful
Open Document