Mayan Sacrifices


Grammar — Intermediate Level
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Most experts agree that blood and human sacrifices originated    the Olmecs (a pre-Columbian Mesoamerican group) lived 3,000 years ago, and were transmitted to the Maya.

The heart, and    else related to blood, was the central element in sacrifice. Sacrifice could have been performed for communal integration,   , there may have been a divergence between different social groups on the manner in which these sacrifices were performed.

Capturing prisoners after a successful battle was one way to provide victims for sacrifice, presumably to placate    deity had promised victory. But Mayan enemies were not the only ones used for these rituals. In 2005 a mass grave of sacrificed children was found in the Maya region of Comalcalco.    killed these children intended to use them as sacrifices.

Sacrifices were also performed for dedicatory purposes    temples were built at the Comalcalco acropolis.


Practice your writing skills by discussing the questions below

  1. Imagine you were alive in the time of the Mayans and shared their beliefs in sacrifice. How would you feel if you or a loved one were selected for sacrifice?

  2. What is a personal sacrifice you had to make in order to help someone else?

  3. What are some practices from other religions that you find interesting or remarkable?


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