Digging for the Truth

Season 3 Episode 12

The Aztecs: Blood and Sacrifice

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Aired Monday 9:00 PM Apr 16, 2007 on The History Channel
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The Aztecs: Blood and Sacrifice
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The Aztecs were the largest civilization to ever rule Mesoamerica. Archaeology and modern science are now shedding new light on the blood rituals they practiced.
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      • Josh: This week join me as I explore a lost civilization bathed in blood. By the early 16th century the Aztec Empire was the largest ever to rule Mesoamerica. When the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in Mexico they recorded that the Aztecs were conducting human sacrifice on an unprecedented scale. In one instance over 80,000 victims in just four days. Just who were the Aztecs and why did they conduct ritual human sacrifice? Were the Spanish accounts grossly exaggerated or were they true? To find out I'll experiment with the weapons of a warrior nation, use forensic science to examine scarred bones from an Aztec buried site and put some of the legends of blood sacrifice to the test. We're digging for the truth and we're going to extremes to do it.

    • NOTES (1)

      • Commentators:

        David Carrasco
        Historian of Religions, Harvard University

        Bob Perkins
        President, BPS Engineering

        Robert Bye, PhD
        Ethnobotanist, Nature Autonomous, University of Mexico

        Carmen Pijoan, PhD
        Department of Physical Anthropology, INAH

        Manuel Aguilar Moreno, PhD
        Art Historian, Cal State University, L.A.

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