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Should Historians Put More Emphasis on the Aztecs Human Sacrifice or Agriculture?

Essay by   •  February 24, 2016  •  Research Paper  •  660 Words (3 Pages)  •  3,663 Views

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                                                                             Kienan Bentley


                                                                        3rd Per

DBQ: Should Historians Put more Emphasis on The Aztecs Human Sacrifice or Agriculture?

The splatter of blood and the screaming of dying people are just some of the miserable sounds you hear during the intense Aztec sacrifices. Tens of thousands of people being slaughtered one after another with crowds cheering as a ruler rips the heart out of another person and presents it to the gods. At our school we have been presented with the question of whether we think that we should put prominence on either Aztecs human sacrifices or there agriculture. Historians should put more emphasis on the human sacrifice aspect of the Aztecs because of sacrificial wars, detailed sacrificing, and the annual warrior sacrifices.

The first reason I am going to talk about is their sacrificial “flower wars”. In Document A it shows and talks about how unoccupied lands would remain open for future “flower wars”, in order to provide enough “flowers”. Flower wars are wars that are used just to acquire people or “flowers”. These people would be captured and taken back to the main city where they would be kept under hash environments. Once it was time for a ceremony they would be taken out into arenas and violently slaughtered by the tens of thousands at times, all for the sole reason of appeasing the gods. This just demonstrates how irreplaceable these ceremonies were because there has been none other like them. All this might seem insane, but it is just the first reason of why human sacrifices should be stressed.

The second reason I'm going to discuss is there certain methods of sacrificing. In document D it talks about and illustrates Motecuhwum and Chihvacatl beginning to sacrifice people. They had certain techniques of sacrificing people. First they would slice open the persons chest and extract their heart. Next they would raise the heart to the sun and tear up the body and leave it to a shrine. This reason just proves how elaborate they were and that they should put emphasis on them.

The final reason is because of the annual sacrifice of the holy warrior. In Document , it talks all about this ceremony. All year they would cherish a warrior with anything he would want, clothes, women, food, and wealth. For a whole year he would live this perfect life, however at the end of that year that all changed. He would be viscously sacrificed to the gods in front of everyone, ripped apart and left on a shrine. This is just another good reason that proves how painfully committed they were to their tradition and would give up their best warriors for it.



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