9 cultures that practiced human sacrifice

1. The Chinese

The Chinese practiced human sacrifices for thousands of years, and turn and stir archaeological teams are faced with ancient cemeteries and tombs containing victims of these rituals.

According to the researchers, the practice appears to have been abandoned and became quite rare after China's unification in 221 BC, so much so that the first Chinese emperor, Qin Shi Huang, chose to be buried with an army of thousands of statues. of terracotta warriors instead of sacrificing their soldiers.

2. The Inca

Inca culture flourished during the 15th century and dominated a vast territory in the Americas, including the Andes. For it is no secret that this culture practiced human sacrifices and spared not even children - and proof of this are the various mummified bodies of small that have been discovered by archaeologists on top of mountains or volcanoes.

A famous example is the three little bodies found near the ruins of an ancient temple on Mount Llullaillaco, an active volcano on the border between Chile and Argentina. Analysis of the mummies revealed that the children were fed a fattening diet before being sacrificed and consumed corn beer and coca leaves before they died. However, exactly how the trio was killed is a mystery.

3. The Aztec

Aztec culture began to flourish a little before Inca, around the 14th century, and there are several historical and archaeological records on the making of frequent human sacrifices, especially in Tenochtitl√°n - the main city of Aztec civilization that today corresponds to the City of Mexico.

According to the evidence, most of the rituals were conducted at the Mayor Temple, the city's main temple - where traces of structures called Tzompantli were found, that is, species of shelves filled with human skulls. The sacrifices ended with the arrival of the Spanish conquerors, who decimated the Aztecs, especially with the diseases they brought from Europe.

4. The Maya

There is no way to talk about Aztec and Inca rituals and not to mention the Maya, right? For this culture performed human sacrifices often and on specific occasions. Usually, the victims consisted of prisoners of war, and it was common for Chichen Itza, one of the major cities of Mayan civilization, for the individuals to be sacrificed to have their bodies painted blue and then thrown into wells.

Another curiosity is that, based on archaeological evidence, some researchers believe that a Mayan ball game ended with the sacrifice of the losing team - or the winner! - on certain occasions.

5. The Egyptian

There are records that human sacrifices were performed in ancient Egypt - about 5, 000 years ago.

Archaeologists find individuals who were sacrificed inside pharaoh's tombs, but the practice has fallen into disrepair over time, and by the time the great pyramids were built some 4, 500 years ago, rituals no longer were more accomplished.

6. The Israelite

According to historians, the Hebrew Bible mentions Israeli human sacrifice on several occasions. One of the most famous events is that of Abraham who, as described in the Genesis, is commanded by God to sacrifice his own son Isaac - although the biblical character finds out at the last minute that it is all a test and the boy's life. end up being spared.

However, despite the reports, in the absence of archaeological evidence to prove that the stories are real, no one can be sure how often human sacrifices took place, let alone if they were actually performed.

7. The Hawaiian

There are reports of human sacrifices being made in Hawaii until the mid-19th century. Apparently, the practice served as a way for the elite to exercise control over the population and, according to testimonies of Europeans who were there, one of the methods used consisted of attack the victim with a club to death.

In addition, archaeologists have found that the natives already built temples containing altars for the conduct of rituals involving people and animals around 1, 300 BC.

8. The Kingdom of Dahomey

The Kingdom of Dahomey, an African state that flourished between the years 1600 and 1894 - when this culture was incorporated into the French Empire - practiced human sacrifice quite often.

According to reports from Europeans and Americans who were in the region in the late 19th, members of this culture could sacrifice more than 1, 000 people during a single occasion.

9. The City of Ur

Archaeologists have discovered in the ancient city of Ur, on the territory that today corresponds to Iraq, a structure called the Great Death Pit dating back some 4, 600 years.

In this well were found the bodies of 68 sacrificed women and six men, along with countless offerings in the form of treasures and statues adorned with precious stones, and scientists argue that this site was used to bury the rulers of Ur.

* This list was compiled from an article published by Owen Jarus of the Live Science website.