Ritual Sacrifice in Ancient Peru: New Discoveries and Interpretations / Edition 1

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Overview

Propitiating the supernatural forces that could grant bountiful crops or wipe out whole villages through natural disasters was a sacred duty in ancient Peruvian societies, as in many premodern cultures. Ritual sacrifices were considered necessary for this propitiation and for maintaining a proper reciprocal relationship between humans and the supernatural world.

The essays in this book examine the archaeological evidence for ancient Peruvian sacrificial offerings of human beings, animals, and objects, as well as the cultural contexts in which the offerings occurred, from around 2500 B.C. until Inca times just before the Spanish Conquest. Major contributions come from the recent archaeological fieldwork of Steve Bourget, Anita Cook, and Alana Cordy-Collins, as well as from John Verano's laboratory work on skeletal material from recent excavations. Mary Frame, who is a weaver as well as a scholar, offers rich new interpretations of Paracas burial garments, and Donald Proulx presents a fresh view of the nature of Nasca warfare. Elizabeth Benson's essay provides a summary of sacrificial practices.

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What People Are Saying

William J Conklin
This is indeed a significant contribution that contains an immense amount of new evidence. . . . The authors offer plentiful support for the view that human sacrifice is a very ancient and important, though shocking, Andean tradition.
William J Conklin, Research Associate for the Textile Museum, Washington, D.C., the Field Museum, Chicago, and the Institute of Andean Studies, Berkeley
William J Conklin
This is indeed a significant contribution that contains an immense amount of new evidence. . . . The authors offer plentiful support for the view that human sacrifice is a very ancient and important, though shocking, Andean tradition.
William J. Conklin
This is indeed a significant contribution that contains an immense amount of new evidence. . . . The authors offer plentiful support for the view that human sacrifice is a very ancient and important, though shocking, Andean tradition.
—(William J. Conklin, Research Associate for the Textile Museum, Washington, D.C., the Field Museum, Chicago, and the Institute of Andean Studies, Berkeley)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292708945
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 7/15/2001
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 227
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
Elizabeth P. Benson and Anita G. Cook
Chapter 1. Why Sacrifice?
Elizabeth P. Benson
Chapter 2. Decapitation in Cupisnique and Early Moche Societies
Alana Cordy-Collins
Chapter 3. Blood and the Moon Priestesses: Spondylus Shells in Moche Ceremony
Alana Cordy-Collins
Chapter 4. Blood, Fertility, and Transformation: Interwoven Themes in the Paracas Necropolis Embroideries
Mary Frame
Chapter 5. Children and Ancestors: Ritual Practices at the Moche Site of Huaca de la Luna, North Coast of Peru
Steve Bourget
Chapter 6. Ritual Uses of Trophy Heads in Ancient Nasca Society
Donald A. Proulx
Chapter 7. Huari D-Shaped Structures, Sacrificial Offerings, and Divine Rulership
Anita G. Cook
Chapter 8. The Physical Evidence of Human Sacrifice in Ancient Peru
John W. Verano
Bibliography
Index
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