Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2019

1 January 2019

Human Sacrifice. Archaeological Perspectives from around the World

Laerke Recht

Human Sacrifice. Archaeological Perspectives from around the World

City: Cambridge

Year: 2019

Publisher: University of Cambridge

Description: 135 p., 40 b/w and colour figures


Sacrifice is not simply an expression of religious beliefs. Its highly symbolic nature lends itself to various kinds of manipulation by those carrying it out, who may use the ritual in maintaining and negotiating power and identity in carefully staged ‘performances’. This Element will examine some of the many different types of sacrifice and ritual killing of human beings through history, from Bronze Age China and the Near East to Mesoamerica to Northern Europe. The focus is on the archaeology of human sacrifice, but where available, textual and iconographic sources provide valuable complements to the interpretation of the material.


1. Introduction [1]

2. The Near East [7]

3. Egypt [26]

4. China [43]

5. Northern Europe [59]

6. Mesoamerica [77]

7. Conclusion [106]

Appendix: Possible Cases of Human Sacrifice from Other Periods and Areas Around the World [113]

Bibliography [117]


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