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Aztec Human Sacrifice Great Discoveries in Archaeology
Tlacaelel thus created a new history for the Aztecs. He also created the institution of ritual war (flowery war) as a way to maintain trained warriors, and supply the necessary people for sacrifices to keep the Sun moving. A flower war (or more correctly, flowery war) from the Nahuatl xochiyaoyotl; was among the Aztec, a planned war in which the objective was not to kill enemies or conquer territory, but rather to capture as many prisoners as possible, who would then be sacrificed in religious ceremonies and maybe eaten. On account of this institution, Aztec warriors were trained to prefer capturing their enemies in battle, rather than killing. For the Aztec warriors, providing blood for the gods was a sacred duty and it was a noble occupation. In the Aztec world, flowers and feathers were the most precious things, so the word "flower" means "precious" and it was used as an descriptor for the activity of sacred war. The blood flowing from a wound was described as a flower of war.
These sacred wars were planned for both sides involved, though not necessarily willingly, and the participants had to be nahuas. Sometimes the rulers of the cities at war were invited to the sacrifice of their own people. After the aztecs conquered most of the nahuatl speaking cities, the cities states of Tlaxcala and Huexotzingo were spared, but with the obligation of participating in the flowery wars.
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In all the Mesoamerican cultures, blood had a very important place. Blood was provided not only by human sacrifice, but also by self-sacrifice. Tlacaelel made changes so that it became a constant necessity to offer blood to restore the blood the sun lost in his daily battle against the darkness. Every 52 years there was the possibility the world would end. They did not believe it was necessarily a daily sacrifice, but they did believe human sacrifice would postpone indefinitely the defeat of the sun. In a way the Aztecs considered it their duty to maintain the world.
The peoples of the Book of Mormon would have been familiar with the types of sacrifices being offered by their surrounding Mesoamerican neighbors, which often comprised burnt offerings of animals, such as deer or birds. The righteous would have interpreted such sacrifices as a means to point their souls to Christ (Jacob 4:5; Alma 34:14). Yet Amulek prophesied that “it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice” (Alma 34:10). It is significant that the three things that Amulek is expressly telling the apostate Zoramites not to sacrifice are the three most common things that were offered by Mesoamerican worshipers: human, beast, and fowl.
Aztec Philosophy | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
In order for the sun to keep burning and producing light and heat, which is necessary for our crops, agriculture, and all of life, there must be human sacrifice given to the gods.
Because the Aztec adopted and combined several traditions with their own earlier traditions, they had several creation myths; one of these describes four great ages preceding the present world, each of which ended in a catastrophe. Our age – Nahui-Ollin, the fifth age, or fifth creation – escaped destruction due to the sacrifice of a god (Nanahuatl, "full of sores", the smallest and humblest of the gods) who was transformed into the Sun. This myth is associated with the ancient city of Teotihuacan, which was already abandoned and destroyed when the Aztec arrived. Another myth describes the earth as a creation of the twin gods Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl. Tezcatlipoca lost his foot in the process of creating the world and all representations of this god show him without a foot and with a bone exposed. Quetzalcoatl is also called "White Tezcatlipoca".
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In the most general of terms, the murals of San Bartolo depict the moment of creation — the ordering of the cosmos, the establishment of the primordial axis mundi. It is followed by a paradisiacal scene, Flower Mountain, and the ensuing emergence of the first humans. Next are scenes of sacrifice, leading up to a scene of resurrection of the Maize God and his subsequent enthronement. The murals culminate with a human ruler being enthroned in the exact same manner as the Maize God — his accession to an earthly throne mimicking that of the Maize God’s ascension to a heavenly throne.
Archaeological Views of Aztec Culture | SpringerLink
Ancient Mesoamerican temples were the epicenter of royal sacrifice. Blood was the most sacred of substances, and Mesoamerican cultures engaged in both human and animal sacrifice. The typical method of human sacrifice was to stretch the victim across a stone altar and have his hands and feet held down by four men. A priest would then make a large incision directly below the ribcage using a knife made out of razor-sharp flint or obsidian, and while the victim was yet alive the priest would thrust his hand into the cut and reach up under the ribcage and into the chest and rip out the victim’s still-beating heart. Among the Aztec, the body of the victim would then be rolled down the precipitous front stairway of the temple. Accounts by the early Spanish conquerors who witnessed such events claimed that the Aztecs would do such sacrifices by the thousands and the bodies would literally pile up at the base of the temple. The numbers are likely exaggerated, and little evidence from the earlier Maya periods suggests that human sacrifice was performed on a grand scale, but the evidence is clear that it was in fact performed.
Girard, Rene | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
All of the Aztec codices and stele depicting Human sacrifice that we see today - were made after the Aztec had been conquered!!! Even at the Cenotes of sacrifice at Chichen itza, where there are so many stories of people being thrown in as sacrifices to the gods. Modern day dredging has recovered many items of gold and jade as well as pottery – “But” no Human remains. The explanation for this is that the Spanish destroyed all of the original Aztec Books and stele. Which seems pretty strange, when you consider that the Spanish were very keen to study the Aztec. Why then too, allow such a great abundance of it to be re-created after the fact. If it wasn’t right for them to exist before, why was it right afterward?
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