By David L. Carrasco, Micah Kleit
At an excavation of the nice Aztec Temple in Mexico urban, amid carvings of skulls and a dismembered warrior goddess, David Carrasco stood earlier than a box full of the embellished bones of babies and kids. It used to be the positioning of a big human sacrifice, and for Carrasco the guts of fiercely provocative questions: If ritual violence opposed to people used to be a profound necessity for the Aztecs of their capital urban, is it imperative to the development of social order and the authority of urban states? Is civilization equipped on violence? In urban of Sacrifice, Carrasco chronicles the attention-grabbing tale of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital, investigating Aztec non secular practices and demonstrating that non secular violence used to be essential to urbanization; the town itself was once a temple to the gods. That Mexico urban, the most important urban on the earth, used to be outfitted at the ruins of Tenochtitlan, is some extent Carrasco poignantly considers in his comparability of city existence from antiquity to modernity. Majestic in scope, urban of Sacrifice illuminates not just the wealthy historical past of a massive Meso american urban but in addition the inseparability of 2 passionate human impulses: urbanization and non secular engagement. It has a lot to inform us approximately many favourite occasions in our personal time, from suicide bombings in Tel Aviv to rape and homicide within the Balkans.
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Additional info for City of Sacrifice: Violence From the Aztec Empire to the Modern Americas
In the Second Letter to King Charles I, his report suggests further evidence of a cardinal orientation of Tenochtitlan, here referred to as Temixtitan: "The great city of Temixtitan is built on the salt lake, and no matter by what road you travel there are two leagues from the main body of the city to the mainland. There are four artificial causeways leading to it, and each is as wide as two cavalry lances. "52 Fortunately, Cortés ordered a map made of the entire island city (published in Nuremberg in 1524), which presents in cartographic terms the image of the city organized < previous page page_36 next page > < previous page page_37 next page > Page 37 into five major sections with extended artificial causeways leading out from an enormous ceremonial center.
This structure was evidently part of a large complex that also included a telpochcalli (young man's house) and in most or all cases, a plaza or market. . In addition to providing the locus for public and private rituals dedicated to local deities, the temple was also the meeting place for barrio elders and the focal point for large ceremonials organized by occupationally specialized groups. It < previous page page_39 next page > < previous page page_40 next page > Page 40 provided, in short, a kind of civic center in relation to which the social identities of the greater part of the urban population were most immediately expressed, and additionally, where a great variety of activities essential to the urban neighborhood were conducted.
As Frances Berdan and Patricia Anawalt comment in their description of the scene, All four warriors wear ichcahuipilli, the standard Mesoamerican armor of thick quilted cotton. In keeping with the greater glorification of Tenochtitlan, only the armor of the Mexica warriors is detailed, showing marks of the quilting. Both of these conquerors wear their hair in the pillar of stone" style and carry the ihuiteteyo shield, symbolizing their city. One carries the maqualuitl, the obsidian-inset warrior club; the other wields a wooden battle stick, the huitzoctli.