Analysis of human bones shows Aztecs practiced ritual cannibalism
|Fragments of human bones have cut marks and prolonged|
exposure to fire [Credit: INAH]
Lopez Arenas explained that the osteological evidence found in the Sacred Grounds of Tenochtitlan, allows the conclusion that individuals were decapitated and dismembered, the majority of which still possessed bland tissue.
|Cannibalism''was intended to absorb the divine force that held the|
body of the sacrificed' [Credit: INAH]
The specialist added that the practice of cannibalism had the purpose of “absorbing the divine strength that remained in the victim’s bodies: To Mexicas, the human victims were the incarnation of the gods they represented, and by eating their flesh they could share their divinity”.
|To the Aztecs, the victims were the incarnation|
of the gods [Credit: INAH]
Lopez Arenas quoted the famous Spanish writer Francisco Cervantes Salazar, whom added that the arms and legs in the cannibalistic ritual were the most appreciated parts and the most frequently eaten, but the hands and the feet exclusively belonged to the priests and rulers. “To give someone these parts was a distinction, since these were considered the most delicious. The blood was never consumed because it was exclusively for the gods”.
|Eating human flesh represented a kind of communion|
with divinity [Credit: INAH]
Lopez Arenas mentioned that these rituals were made in certain dates. For example, during the parties made celebrating the first month of the Mexica calendar (atlacahualo), several children were sacrificed to honor the gods of water or rain, and after they were killed they were cooked and eaten.
|Human offerings were given to the priests and eaten in|
certain ceremonies [Credit: INAH]
Source: INAH via Art Daily [January 17, 2014]