Between about 600 and 900AD the Mayan inhabitants of the nearby city of Chichén Itzá, believing it to be a gateway to the underworld, filled the pool with sacrificial riches to the gods: gold, jade, incense, pottery—and people.
Maya priests in the city of Chichen Itza in the Yucatan peninsula sacrificed children to petition the gods for rain and fertile fields by throwing them into sacred sinkhole caves, known as “cenotes.” The caves served as a source of water for the Mayans and were also thought to be an entrance to the underworld.
Hassig states “between 10,000 and 80,400 persons” were sacrificed in the ceremony. The higher estimate would average 15 sacrifices per minute during the four-day consecration. Four tables were arranged at the top so that the victims could be jettisoned down the sides of the temple.
Sacrifice was a religious activity in Maya culture, involving the killing of humans or animals , or bloodletting by members of the community, in rituals superintended by priests.
Do The Maya Still Exist ? Descendants of the Maya still live in Central America in modern-day Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and parts of Mexico. The majority of them live in Guatemala, which is home to Tikal National Park, the site of the ruins of the ancient city of Tikal.
Scholars have suggested a number of potential reasons for the downfall of Maya civilization in the southern lowlands, including overpopulation, environmental degradation, warfare, shifting trade routes and extended drought. It’s likely that a complex combination of factors was behind the collapse.
Today , human sacrifice has become extremely rare. Most religions condemn the practice , and modern secular laws treat it as murder.
In ancient Mesoamerica human sacrifices were viewed as a repayment for the sacrifices the gods had themselves made in creating the world. In Mesoamerican culture human sacrifices were viewed as a repayment for the sacrifices the gods had themselves made in creating the world and the sun.
It is likely that human sacrifice occurred during the Viking Age but nothing suggests that it was part of common public religious practise. Instead it was only practised in connection with war and in times of crisis.
The Maya had a system of serfdom and slavery . Serfs typically worked lands that belonged to the ruler or local town leader. There was an active slave trade in the Maya region, and commoners and elites were both permitted to own slaves .
The Maya have lived in Central America for many centuries. They are one of the many Precolumbian native peoples of Mesoamerica . In the past and today they occupy Guatemala, adjacent portions of Chiapas and Tabasco, the whole of the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, and the western edges of Honduras and Salvador.
Blood was viewed as a potent source of nourishment for the Maya deities, and the sacrifice of a living creature was a powerful blood offering. By extension, the sacrifice of a human life was the ultimate offering of blood to the gods, and the most important Maya rituals culminated in human sacrifice .
Human sacrifice occupied a particularly important place in Mesoamerica. Many of the region’s cultures, including the Maya and the Mexica, believed that human sacrifice nourished the gods . Without it, the sun would cease to rise and the world would end.
Human sacrifice , the offering of the life of a human being to a deity. The occurrence of human sacrifice can usually be related to the recognition of human blood as the sacred life force.