Presentation on theme: "The Aztecs Cannibalism: a supposed dietary necessity."— Presentation transcript:
The Aztecs Cannibalism: a supposed dietary necessity
The issue Some people (archeologists, actually) have said that the Aztec practiced human sacrifice because their diet did not include enough protein. Some people (archeologists, actually) have said that the Aztecs had no need to kill people to get their protein
The Point? Aztec diet had enough protein Aztecs practiced human sacrifice around the time of harvest Aztec human sacrifice functioned as a “Thanksgiving” to the Gods.
Were the Aztecs ‘vegetarians’? The answer is NO Armadillo Pocket Gopher (Tozan) Weasels (cuztli) Rattle snakes Mice They also ate IguanasTurkeysDogsFishFrogsAxolotl Fish eggs
What about Human Sacrifice? Well, it did happen… Human sacrifice meant some meat for the elite (nobles) Only the extremities of the body of sacrificed victims were used Many festivals were dedicated to Tlaloc and victims were usually buried, not eaten.
Aztec monthChristian* calendarAgricultural†cycleRitual ceremonies‡ Dry season 1. Atlcualo02/14 to 03/05Children sacrificed to Tlaloc 2. Tlacaxipehualiztli03/06 to 03/25Big kill, children to Tlaloc 3. Tozozoztontli03/26 to 04/14Children to Tlaloc 4. Hueytozoztli04/15 to 05/04 Rainy season 5. Toxcatl05/05 to 05/24Planting of corn Eating of victims possible but not mentioned 6. Etzalcualiztl05/25 to 06/13Planting of corn 7. Tecuilhuitontli06/14 to 07/03 8. Hueytecuilhuitl07/04 to 07/23Time of scarcity 9. Miccailhuitl07/24 to 08/12 10. Xocothuetzi08/13 to 09/01No killing, no victims eaten 11. Ochpaniztli09/02 to 09/21Fruit harvestHarvest feast 12. Teotleco09/22 to 10/11 13. Tepeilhuitl10/12 to 10/31Corn harvestBig kill and eating 14. Quecholli11/01 to 11/20Corn harvest
Human Sacrifice and Harvest Aztec month Christian* calendar Agricultural†cycle Ritual ceremonies‡ Ritual ceremonies‡ 13. Tepeilhuitl 13. Tepeilhuitl 10/12 to 10/31 Corn harvest Big kill and eating Big kill and eating 14. Quecholli 14. Quecholli 11/01 to 11/20 Corn harvest Corn harvest Dry season 15. Panquetzaliztli 11/21 to 12/10 Corn harvest Biggest kill and eating Biggest kill and eating 16. Atemoztli 12/11 to 12/30 Corn harvest No killing, no victims eaten 17. Tititl 12/31 to 01/19 Eating of victims possible but not mentioned 18. Izcalli 01/20 to 02/08 No killing, no victims eaten No killing, no victims eaten
Conclusion It is generally agreed that the Aztecs practiced ritual cannibalism but there is no agreement about the extent of this practice. There is no need to cite ecological disaster or stress in the Aztec Empire to say they practiced cannibalism The Aztec diet did not have a need for a daily source of protein or a supplement.