Ritual Sacrifice in Ancient Peru
Publication Year: 2001
Published by: University of Texas Press
Download PDF (44.9 KB)
Preface and Acknowledgments
Download PDF (650.8 KB)
For many people in the modern Western world, making a sacrifice means either giving without receiving or giving up something valuable for a cause that may benefit others. For earlier societies almost everywhere, offerings were made for the greater good. Animals were sacrificed, and many kinds of treasured things were offered. The most valuable offering ...
Chapter 1: Why Sacrifice?
Download PDF (7.4 MB)
In the depths of anyone’s cultural heritage, all over the world, there is evidence of sacrifice—human and animal. Mythic supernatural beings were sacrificers and sacrificed. Ritual reenacts myth; human beings imitate what gods and sacred ancestors did.To sacrifice is to make sacred. Ritual may move far away ...
Chapter 2: Decapitation in Cupisnique and Early Moche Societies
Download PDF (9.1 MB)
... of the prehistoric Peruvian north coast were remarkable artists in clay, and their gold work was the finest of very early metal production in the Andes. Their ceremonial architecture, decorated with sculpture, was impressive. They were one of the earliest cultures to record decapitation graphically. A study of their art reveals five distinct supernatural head-takers: a spider, a bird of prey, a mon ...
Chapter 3: Blood and the Moon Priestesses: Spondylus Shells in Moche Ceremony
Download PDF (3.7 MB)
Archaeological and artistic evidence informs us that a primary ceremonial focus in Moche society was the ritual bleeding of bound males, captured in combat, and the drinking of their blood (Donnan 1978; Alva and Donnan 1993; Donnan and Castillo 1994). The only female in the roster ...
Chapter 4: Blood, Fertility, and Transformation: Interwoven Themes in the Paracas Necropolis Embroideries
Download PDF (3.6 MB)
The Necropolis of Wari Kayan on the Paracas Peninsula is the source of an extraordinarily rich textile legacy. Four hundred twenty-nine bundles were excavated at this south-coast site during the late 1920s by Julio C. Tello and his team. The funerary bundles were concentrated in two areas, or nuclei, ...
Chapter 5: Children and Ancestors: Ritual Practices at the Moche Site of Huaca de la Luna, North Coast of Peru
Download PDF (13.3 MB)
The massive sacrificial precinct recently discovered and studied at the Moche site of Huaca de la Luna, in the Moche Valley of the Peruvian north coast (Bourget 1997a), is one of the rare Moche sites to provide evidence of organized sacrificial practices outside of mortuary contexts. The only other examples now known are at Dos Cabezas ...
Chapter 6: Ritual Uses of Trophy Heads in Ancient Nasca Society
Download PDF (7.9 MB)
Centered in the Ica and Nasca Valleys of south coastal Peru, the ancient culture known as Nasca dominated a wide area of southern Peru between 100 B.C. and A.D. 700. Here the Nasca people practiced intensive agriculture in one of the driest and most formidable environments in the world. The vast desert that covers the coastal plain of ...
Chapter 7: Huari D-Shaped Structures, Sacrificial Offerings, and Divine Rulership
Download PDF (2.0 MB)
The Huari Empire coalesced in the Ayacucho Valley of Peru (Map I) during the Middle Horizon (A.D. 650 to 1000). Its development ushered in new architectural forms, urban living on a scale unknown prior to this time in the central highlands, and new ritual practices such as the breaking of large and beautifully painted urns and jars as buried offerings. These vessels display ...
Chapter 8: The Physical Evidence of Human Sacrifice in Ancient Peru
Download PDF (8.6 MB)
Descriptions of human sacrifice by the Inca and other native peoples of Andean South America are scattered through many of the early colonial-period Spanish chronicles and histories (Figure 8.I). These are not eyewitness accounts, but are generally secondhand descriptions by native informants. Unlike accounts from Mexico, where human sacrifice was witnessed firsthand by Spanish soldiers and priests in the ...
Download PDF (142.0 KB)
Download PDF (72.3 KB)
Page Count: 227
Illustrations: 66 halftones, 47 line drawings, 3 maps, 2 charts
Publication Year: 2001