January 25, 2006 11:40 AM Subscribe
The images on the ceramics
were thought to be mythical narratives
the priestly class
used to underscore
its coercive power. Without proper archaeological evidence, the representations were too horrific to take literally. They depicted gruesome scenes
: captives skinned alive, drained of blood (which was drunk by priests in front of them), throats slit, bodies decapitated and left to the vultures, bones meticulously defleshed and hung from ropes.
Unfortunately for the victims, these bloody rites actually happened
. They took place in an otherwise vibrant and highly advanced culture, a culture renowned for its artists
and builders. These were a people who developed advanced agricultural knowledge, extremely sophisticated metallurgy
, and built the largest pre-Columbian adobe structure in the Americas
. Because they had no written language, though, it is by their ceramics that we
know them best.
posted by crumbly (27 comments total)