In this Book

Ritual Sacrifice in Ancient Peru
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summary
Propitiating the supernatural forces that could grant bountiful crops or wipe out whole villages through natural disasters was a sacred duty in ancient Peruvian societies, as in many premodern cultures. Ritual sacrifices were considered necessary for this propitiation and for maintaining a proper reciprocal relationship between humans and the supernatural world. The essays in this book examine the archaeological evidence for ancient Peruvian sacrificial offerings of human beings, animals, and objects, as well as the cultural contexts in which the offerings occurred, from around 2500 B.C. until Inca times just before the Spanish Conquest. Major contributions come from the recent archaeological fieldwork of Steve Bourget, Anita Cook, and Alana Cordy-Collins, as well as from John Verano’s laboratory work on skeletal material from recent excavations. Mary Frame, who is a weaver as well as a scholar, offers rich new interpretations of Paracas burial garments, and Donald Proulx presents a fresh view of the nature of Nasca warfare. Elizabeth Benson’s essay provides a summary of sacrificial practices.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. p. VII
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  1. Preface and Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Chapter 1: Why Sacrifice?
  2. pp. 1-20
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  1. Chapter 2: Decapitation in Cupisnique and Early Moche Societies
  2. pp. 21-34
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  1. Chapter 3: Blood and the Moon Priestesses: Spondylus Shells in Moche Ceremony
  2. pp. 35-54
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  1. Chapter 4: Blood, Fertility, and Transformation: Interwoven Themes in the Paracas Necropolis Embroideries
  2. pp. 55-92
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  1. Chapter 5: Children and Ancestors: Ritual Practices at the Moche Site of Huaca de la Luna, North Coast of Peru
  2. pp. 93-118
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  1. Chapter 6: Ritual Uses of Trophy Heads in Ancient Nasca Society
  2. pp. 119-136
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  1. Chapter 7: Huari D-Shaped Structures, Sacrificial Offerings, and Divine Rulership
  2. pp. 137-164
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  1. Chapter 8: The Physical Evidence of Human Sacrifice in Ancient Peru
  2. pp. 165-184
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 185-204
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 205-211
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