Illustration of an Aztec Human Heart Sacrifice

Illustration of an Aztec Human Heart Sacrifice

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license: public domain
source: Wikimedia Commons
author: unknown

A crude illustration depicts an aztec human heart sacrifice. One man is depicted cutting open the chest of another and removing the heart, with a humanoid alter to the right holding a heart in its hand. Below, two men can been seen using bone to pierce their tongue (left) and ear (right), with text jotted around them. To their right, a ball of copal burns as a sacrifice.


Illustration: 16th century AD


This illustration was scanned from the 16th century Codex Tudela, a treatise on Aztec culture after Spanish contact. Here, a human heart sacrifice is depicted. Below, two men can be seen piercing themselves in a form of ritualistic bloodletting.

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Demarest, A. (2005). Ancient Maya: The rise and fall of a rainforest civilization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.