Kier Salmon k_salmon at ipinc.net
Tue May 20 16:21:51 UTC 2008

As I understand it pieces of the body were distributed to the warriors  
who caught them and the bones were hung in individual houses.  Other  
corpses were thrown into the lake.  The lake was a very active  
ecosystem and it took the massive plagues of 1521 to oveyrwhealm it  
with bodies.
Therefore there wouldn't have been mass grave dumps like we see in  
modern genocidal atrocities.  If I recall correctly the heads were  
hung by a specific lock of hair until they rotted out, boiled and  
stacked along the pyramid sides, exposed to the elements.
I will go out on a limb here and do a thought experiment:  I think  
that when the temples were rebuilt (which happened every 30-50 years)  
the bones and skulls were ground up and used to make the new temple.   
I'm not sure how much material would be identifiable from 2000, 1500,  
500 years ago to tell us how many skulls and bones were used in the  
The mass sacrifices have caused controversy back and forth for  
centuries, now.  I've read that the aztecs just used round numbers and  
didn't really sacrifice the numbers in the codices (in defiance to the  
very precise numbers used in surveying and tribute!)   I've read that  
we should trust both the old priests (who were notorious for re- 
writing the histories and burning the old books) and trust the new  
priests, who very much wanted to show how necessary the whole  
christian conversion thing was and that we should bring logic to the  
So using logic... Tenochtitlan was an island, heavily-densely  
populated.  I've seen the pictures of the wrapped dead and read that  
they were each buried under the hearth of the small houses.  (No  
concept of graveyards.)  The nobles were burned or interred under  
their palaces in small chambers.  So no cemeteries as we would  
recognize them today, and the idea that the dead should be buried by  
their families.  THey also had this idea that the sacrifice was  
unfortunate and couldn't escape his fate to die far from his home.   
Lack of buriel would probably be a logical consequence of that thought  
Where would they *bury* the bodies?  And why?  Another point to the  
logic level is the lack of digging tools.  They had wood, flint and  
stone.  Digging the hard, stoney earth of México with just those is  
quite a labor.  Would they dig pits to hurl their dead sacrifices  
into, all that labor?  Maybe, but with the lake right there and the  
codices making it clear that the captor of the sacrifice had the right  
to certain body parts and the use of the thighbones hanging in the  
houses as protective charms for the man in battle, I can't see a need  
for graves.
Or any way to substantiate or discredit the numbers the source  
documents quote.
On May 20, 2008, at 8:52 AM, David Becraft wrote:

> Listeros,
> I may have missed it, but I am curious about archaeological evidence  
> supporting the mass sacrifice of humans from 2,000 years ago to  
> 1521.  Have there been any major archaeological findings that have  
> uncovered the number of people sacrificed?  I assume it must be in  
> the hundreds of thousands, or maybe millions.  I know that there  
> have been some mass graves of 45 or so, but has the number ever been  
> higher than a thousand?
> Pancho
> ----------------------------------------
>> Date: Tue, 20 May 2008 00:07:07 -0700
>> From: michaelruggeri at mac.com
>> To: aztlan at lists.famsi.org
>> Listeros.
>> 4000 year old human remains have been uncovered at the most ancient  
>> urban area in the New World, Bandurria, in Peru. They are  
>> sacrificed individuals. Parts of skeletons were found of 3 people.  
>> One had been decapitated.
>> Living in Peru has the story here;
>> http://www.livinginperu.com/news-6483-artculturehistory-human-sacrifice-remains-found-peru-archaeological-site
>> Mike Ruggeri
>> Mike Ruggeri's Andean Archaeology News and Links
>> http://community-2.webtv.net/Topiltzin-2091/MikeRuggerisAndean/index.html
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