Aztec Human Sacrifice: Cross-Cultural Analysis

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Review of Aztec Human Sacrifice: Cross-Cultural Assessments of The Ecological Hypothesis Introduction The article “Aztec Human Sacrifice: Cross-Cultural Assessments of the Ecological Hypothesis” by Michael Winkelman (1998), published in the anthropological journal Ethnology, studies and analyzes the reasons for human sacrifices conducted by the Aztec civilization since 1750 B.C. With the aid of systematic cross-cultural analysis, a multitude of recent works by various authors is compared in order to verify or deny the claim that Aztec human sacrifices are explainable with the ecological hypothesis suggested by Harner in the 1970s (Winkelman, 1998, p. 286). According to the author, “[t]he relationship of religious and social complexity conditions to human sacrifice are assessed to illustrate the relevance of other social factors to the incidence of human sacrifice, and to suggest directions for further investigation” (Winkelman, 1998). This research article review provides an overview of Winkelman's study as well as states the importance of this topic as well as the findings for history and people in general.…show more content…
Speculations made by, among others, Harner, de Montellano, Price, Hassig, and Isaac on the reasoning behind human sacrifices as well as the Aztec's motivation to do so vary due to the multitude of perspectives which appear to be plausible. While Winkelman chose to focus on the ecological hypothesis explaining human sacrifices, he also mentions and debates religious and social hypotheses presented by authors before

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