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ANT 4930 The archaeology of human sacrifice

Dr. Prieto

The sacrifice of men, women and children is one of the most controversial acts in ancient societies. Practiced around the world, this act is imbued in intricate rituals that explain the essence of human nature. This course explore human sacrificial practices around the world and its social, political and economic implications, as well as the ideological role they played in a given time and society. From the Old World with emphasis in the Middle East, Asiaand Europe to the Americas, archaeologists have reported evidence of these obscure practices from the very beginning of civilizations as institutionalized practices embedded in the foundations of their political and ideological agendas. We will criticallyexplore the reasons and impacts of these practices based on each case. How should we conceive this kind of behavior in ancient societies? Should we judge these practices based on our modern 21st century worldview?