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Evidence May Back Human Sacrifice Claims
My Way News ^ | 1/22/05 | MARK STEVENSON/AP

Posted on 01/23/2005 2:26:53 PM PST by wagglebee

MEXICO CITY (AP) - It has long been a matter of contention: Was the Aztec and Mayan practice of human sacrifice as widespread and horrifying as the history books say? Or did the Spanish conquerors overstate it to make the Indians look primitive? In recent years archaeologists have been uncovering mounting physical evidence that corroborates the Spanish accounts in substance, if not number.

Using high-tech forensic tools, archaeologists are proving that pre-Hispanic sacrifices often involved children and a broad array of intentionally brutal killing methods.

For decades, many researchers believed Spanish accounts from the 16th and 17th centuries were biased to denigrate Indian cultures, others argued that sacrifices were largely confined to captured warriors, while still others conceded the Aztecs were bloody, but believed the Maya were less so.

"We now have the physical evidence to corroborate the written and pictorial record," said archaeologist Leonardo Lopez Lujan. He said, "some 'pro-Indian' currents had always denied this had happened. They said the texts must be lying."

The Spaniards probably did exaggerate the sheer numbers of victims to justify a supposedly righteous war against idolatry, said David Carrasco, a Harvard Divinity School expert on Meso-American religion.

But there is no longer as much doubt about the nature of the killings. Indian pictorial texts known as "codices," as well as Spanish accounts from the time, quote Indians as describing multiple forms of human sacrifice.

Victims had their hearts cut out or were decapitated, shot full of arrows, clawed, sliced to death, stoned, crushed, skinned, buried alive or tossed from the tops of temples.

Children were said to be frequent victims, in part because they were considered pure and unspoiled.

"Many people said, 'We can't trust these codices because the Spaniards were describing all these horrible things,' which in the long run we are confirming," said Carmen Pijoan, a forensic anthropologist who found some of the first direct evidence of cannibalism in a pre-Aztec culture over a decade ago: bones with butcher-like cut marks.

In December, at an excavation in an Aztec-era community in Ecatepec, just north of Mexico City, archaeologist Nadia Velez Saldana described finding evidence of human sacrifice associated with the god of death.

"The sacrifice involved burning or partially burning victims," Velez Saldana said. "We found a burial pit with the skeletal remains of four children who were partially burned, and the remains of four other children that were completely carbonized."

While the remains don't show whether the victims were burned alive, there are depictions of people - apparently alive - being held down as they were burned.

The dig turned up other clues to support descriptions of sacrifices in the Magliabecchi codex, a pictorial account painted between 1600 and 1650 that includes human body parts stuffed into cooking dishes, and people sitting around eating, as the god of death looks on.

"We have found cooking dishes just like that," said archaeologist Luis Manuel Gamboa. "And, next to some full skeletons, we found some incomplete, segmented human bones." However, researchers don't know whether those remains were cannibalized.

In 2002, government archaeologist Juan Alberto Roman Berrelleza announced the results of forensic testing on the bones of 42 children, mostly boys around age 6, sacrificed at Mexico City's Templo Mayor, the Aztec's main religious site, during a drought.

All shared one feature: serious cavities, abscesses or bone infections painful enough to make them cry.

"It was considered a good omen if they cried a lot at the time of sacrifice," which was probably done by slitting their throats, Roman Berrelleza said.

The Maya, whose culture peaked farther east about 400 years before the Aztecs founded Mexico City in 1325, had a similar taste for sacrifice, Harvard University anthropologist David Stuart wrote in a 2003 article.

In the late 19th and early 20th century, "The first researchers tried to make a distinction between the 'peaceful' Maya and the 'brutal' cultures of central Mexico," Stuart wrote. "They even tried to say human sacrifice was rare among the Maya."

But in carvings and mural paintings, he said, "we have now found more and greater similarities between the Aztecs and Mayas," including a Maya ceremony in which a grotesquely costumed priest is shown pulling the entrails from a bound and apparently living sacrificial victim.

Some Spanish-era texts have yet to be corroborated with physical remains. They describe Aztec priests sacrificing children and adults by sealing them in caves or drowning them. But the assumption now is that the texts appear trustworthy, said Lopez Lujan, who also works at the Templo Mayor site.

For Lopez Lujan, confirmation has come in the form of advanced chemical tests on the stucco floors of Aztec temples, which were found to have been soaked with iron, albumen and genetic material consistent with human blood.

"It's now a question of quantity," said Lopez Lujan, who thinks the Spaniards - and Indian picture-book scribes working under their control - exaggerated the number of sacrifice victims, claiming in one case that 80,400 people were sacrificed at a temple inauguration in 1487.

"We're not finding anywhere near that ... even if we added some zeros," Lopez Lujan said.

Researchers have largely discarded the old theory that sacrifice and cannibalism were motivated by a protein shortage in the Aztec diet, though some still believe it may have been a method of population control.

Pre-Hispanic cultures believed the world would end if the sacrifices were not performed. Sacrificial victims, meanwhile, were often treated as gods themselves before being killed.

"It is really very difficult for us to conceive," Pijoan said of the sacrifices. "It was almost an honor for them."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Mexico; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; aztecs; clovis; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; humansacrifice; indians; mayans; preclovis; precolumbian; revisionism
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The revisionists are going to love this./sarcasm off
1 posted on 01/23/2005 2:26:55 PM PST by wagglebee
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping


2 posted on 01/23/2005 2:27:11 PM PST by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: wagglebee

So much for the reputation of "the noble savage."


3 posted on 01/23/2005 2:32:41 PM PST by franksolich (always annoyingingly polite)
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To: wagglebee
"They said the texts must be lying."

Paraphrasing Team America World Police:

"Before [Europeans] showed up it was a happy place. They had flowering meadows and rainbow skies and rivers made of chocolate, where the children danced and laughed and played with gumdrop smiles."

4 posted on 01/23/2005 2:34:33 PM PST by denydenydeny
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To: wagglebee
It's especially common with topics like the Jewish Holocaust, but it's pretty widespread on many topics: some folks think all history is basically fake. "How do you know? Were you there???"

Eye-witness accounts? Diaries? Letters to loved ones? Naaaaah! Ya can't trust that stuff either! They had an agenda. They made stuff up. They wanted other folks to feel reassured or envious, or whatever. Nope. Can't even trust the folks who were there.

Archeological dig? Showing that primitive stone-age cannibals were primitive and cannibalistic? And blood-thirsty? Hmmmmmmmmm. I dunno. I think we can still spin this to make the Europeans look bad, but I'm gonna need another grant ...

5 posted on 01/23/2005 2:36:32 PM PST by ClearCase_guy (The fourth estate is a fifth column.)
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To: franksolich; denydenydeny

6 posted on 01/23/2005 2:37:04 PM PST by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: wagglebee

Yeah, let's see the revisionists spin this stuff.
http://home.socal.rr.com/picsgifs/images/helmets/pittsburgh_helmet.gif


7 posted on 01/23/2005 2:37:52 PM PST by Viking2002 (Taglines? Vikings don't need no steenkin' taglines..............)
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To: SunkenCiv

Ping


8 posted on 01/23/2005 2:38:01 PM PST by Radix (Free snow. All you can handle. You haul!)
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To: wagglebee

Reminds me of the argument over the Anasazi here in our own Southwest...good evidence of cannibalism, but the politically correct refuse to admit that native american ethnicity and sainthood are not synonymous.


9 posted on 01/23/2005 2:38:31 PM PST by pharmamom ("You treat that cat better than you treat me." - the husband)
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To: wagglebee
Victims had their hearts cut out or were decapitated, shot full of arrows, clawed, sliced to death, stoned, crushed, skinned, buried alive or tossed from the tops of temples.

Obviously the imperialist running dog Europeans somehow planted this evidence in order to justify their exploitation of the peace loving agrarian indigenous peoples, who were probably also early members of PETA and the Sierra Club.

10 posted on 01/23/2005 2:41:59 PM PST by Huber (Conservatism - It's not just for breakfast anymore!)
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To: pharmamom

11 posted on 01/23/2005 2:42:44 PM PST by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: wagglebee

Reminds me of that stupid movie "Dances with Wolves" where they made the Indians look like they were a utipian society and the settlers where the barbarians.


12 posted on 01/23/2005 2:43:46 PM PST by biblewonk (Neither was the man created for woman but the woman for the man.)
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To: wagglebee
Another blow to Siberial-American mythology.
13 posted on 01/23/2005 2:45:58 PM PST by beef (Who Killed Kennewick Man?)
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To: wagglebee

>>Pre-Hispanic cultures believed the world would end if the sacrifices were not performed. Sacrificial victims, meanwhile, were often treated as gods themselves before being killed. <<

It's worse than that. Mexico was founded by the Toltecs. The Aztecs conquered them and destroyed their civilization, bu they always believed that they had only so long before the end of their civilization... In fact, they had a calendar which counted down to their destruction. They believed that the Toltec civilization was founded by Quetzlcoatl, who, although pictured as a serpent, was a man with red hair (or blond? I think it was red) and facial hair, two features unknown to them, and a shiny skin which coated his real skin. When red-headed, bearded, and armor-wearing Cortez showed up, just befor ethe expiration of their calendar, he ignited a surge in desperate human sacrifices.

Cortez' army always insisted they carried out no slaughter, that the Aztecs destroyed themselves by human sacrifice. The British authors of our history books, enemies of the Spaniards, chose instead to presume that the Aztecs were wiped out by a genocidal campaign. Far from the religion of sociologists, the Aztec culture was destroyed by its own religion.

It has been suggested that Quetlcoatl may have been a Palestinian, given the finding of some questionnably authentic artifacts, such as coinage. If so, it may be that the Palestinians who founded Mexico were traders who had themselves been involved in the construction of pyramids in Egypt. If only we knew of a Palestinian king whose people had been pyramid-builders in Egypt, were famous for wealth, and built a mighty navy, perhaps with wood from the forests of Lebanon or something like that. *cough*Solomon*cough*.


14 posted on 01/23/2005 2:46:05 PM PST by dangus
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To: wagglebee

15 posted on 01/23/2005 2:49:39 PM PST by denydenydeny
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To: wagglebee

The Spaniards probably did exaggerate the sheer numbers of victims to justify a supposedly righteous war against idolatry, said David Carrasco, a Harvard Divinity School expert on Meso-American religion.

You got to laugh at these "experts" who are always trying to skew history to what they want it to be, and not what is true.


16 posted on 01/23/2005 2:52:36 PM PST by taxesareforever
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Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: franksolich
So much for the reputation of "the noble savage."

These were not hunter gatherers.

These were city dwellers fed by farms.

18 posted on 01/23/2005 2:54:33 PM PST by Age of Reason
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To: wagglebee

At first the Spaniards were against the Human Sacrificies because it was the right thing to do. Then the Maya's targeted the train station and the Spaniards pulled out and declared it was none of their business.


19 posted on 01/23/2005 3:08:38 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: wagglebee

I've never understood the enlightened view that says, "Well we have eye witness testimnony to the following events, however hundreds, or thousands, of years later we think that the testimony must not be true because we have a really good theory.......

A lot of archaeology is this way. Archaeology sometimes makes psycology look like sound science.


20 posted on 01/23/2005 3:09:16 PM PST by festus (The constitution may be flawed but its a whole lot better than what we have now.)
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To: wagglebee

Every time I read articles like this I think back to an interesting little novel by Orson Scott Card that explored how history would be different if Christopher Columbus had not discovered the new world. The story postulates that without the diseases introduced by the Europeans, the Aztec & Co. cultures would rise to dominance in North America. It also raises the question - What's worse? A period of human slavery that followed European colonization? Or widespread human sacrifice? Very provocative.


21 posted on 01/23/2005 3:12:18 PM PST by Lil'freeper (Error 404. The requested file was not found.)
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To: biblewonk
"Dances with Wolves" where they made the Indians look like they were a utipian society ...

...they were a utipian society (emphasis on the tipi)

Just havin' fun with it; hundreds of others prolly saw the same thing and decided to let it go... I guess I'm too predictable.

22 posted on 01/23/2005 3:12:21 PM PST by Migraine
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To: denydenydeny

"Paraphrasing Team America World Police"

F**k yeah!

I loved that movie!


23 posted on 01/23/2005 3:12:34 PM PST by jocon307 (Ann Coulter was right)
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To: dangus

Doesn't the Aztec calendar end in 2012?


24 posted on 01/23/2005 3:17:20 PM PST by BurbankKarl
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To: denydenydeny

Do they think the historians that drew this stuff made it all up?

25 posted on 01/23/2005 3:19:39 PM PST by BurbankKarl
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To: Pookyhead
These are the guys who invented the phrase "Perception is Reality".

I have arguments with people like these. Their minds have been corrupted by marketing techniques. They actually argue that if you perceive something it is true. Sort of like our society today where equivocation is regarded as intelligence. Can't say what you think or know. You mus always equivocate so as not to offend the person you are talking to.

26 posted on 01/23/2005 3:45:46 PM PST by raybbr
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To: wagglebee
If you're interested in the nature of human superstition and the ritual that's predicated upon it, you can't do better than James Fraser's seminal anthropological work The Golden Bough. To anyone familiar with Fraser's work (packed with specific and detailed accounts) nothing wrought by the mind of primitive man is surprising.
27 posted on 01/23/2005 3:49:36 PM PST by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: wagglebee
Of course we are told that all cultures are of equal value and it would be racist to condemn the Aztec's "faith tradition."
28 posted on 01/23/2005 3:51:25 PM PST by Malesherbes
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To: Malesherbes

Just like the Muslim "faith tradition" of murdering thousands of "infidels."


29 posted on 01/23/2005 3:52:11 PM PST by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: wagglebee

But they respected the environment.


30 posted on 01/23/2005 3:53:36 PM PST by jackbill
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To: wagglebee
Human Sacrifice was also proven among the Phoenicians.
I do not understand the need to romanticize Indians. Like any other culture they had good aspects and bad ones. This image of the all knowing wise man or the Land o Lakes maiden is absurd.
31 posted on 01/23/2005 3:58:20 PM PST by Marano NYC
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To: BurbankKarl

The "Aztec calendar" has ended every year I've been alive, according to the Weekly World News, Sci-Fi channel, and every other quack.


32 posted on 01/23/2005 3:59:51 PM PST by dangus
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To: wagglebee

But I'm sure the Indians only killed what they could eat, and no more.


33 posted on 01/23/2005 4:04:57 PM PST by KidGlock (W-1)
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To: dangus

The End of the Mayan Calendar After Dec. 21, 2012

I confused the Alien Mexicans with the Blood Sacrifice onces.


34 posted on 01/23/2005 4:07:13 PM PST by BurbankKarl
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To: RadioAstronomer

35 posted on 01/23/2005 4:07:28 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: wagglebee; BurbankKarl; denydenydeny
The woman who ended the Aztecs' Reign of Terror in the Americas:


36 posted on 01/23/2005 4:07:40 PM PST by Pyro7480 ("All my own perception of beauty both in majesty and simplicity is founded upon Our Lady." - Tolkien)
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To: denydenydeny

There is one thing suspicious about that drawing: the genitalia is covered up. I was in anthropology for a while and (while I am obviously not an expert) all the "human sacrifice" art we saw featured very naked captives. Genitalia was never coyly covered by a draped cloth or shielded by a bent let. It was always right out there. Emphasized, in fact, as if to gloat over the captive's naked humiliation.


37 posted on 01/23/2005 4:14:14 PM PST by wizardoz
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To: Pookyhead

>>>What they want to believe is what IS

Bill Clinton, is that you?


38 posted on 01/23/2005 4:15:26 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: wagglebee; blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; SunkenCiv; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; ...
Thanks wagglebee.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

39 posted on 01/23/2005 4:18:18 PM PST by SunkenCiv (In the long run, there is only the short run.)
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To: denydenydeny

Oooh...that's gonna leave a mark.


40 posted on 01/23/2005 4:26:24 PM PST by Pharmboy (Dems lie because they have to)
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To: blam

thanks blam. :'D

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1326884/posts
This thread has been pulled.
Pulled on 01/23/2005 4:03:47 PM PST by Admin Moderator, reason:
duplicate http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1326847/posts


41 posted on 01/23/2005 4:26:28 PM PST by SunkenCiv (In the long run, there is only the short run.)
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To: Mr Ramsbotham

Loved that book, although it became a bit mind-numbing after a few hundred pages.


42 posted on 01/23/2005 4:28:05 PM PST by Pharmboy (Dems lie because they have to)
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To: Calpernia; blam
Victims had their hearts cut out or were decapitated, shot full of arrows, clawed, sliced to death, stoned, crushed, skinned, buried alive or tossed from the tops of temples.

I think they meant to type "burned alive". But hey! We have to cut their supposed descendents some slack - they've toned it way down since Cortez's day. Now the only torture they inflict (warbling paeans to drug lords cranked at max volume, cerveza-shards somehow attracted to my car tires, spreading corruption through every aspect of our society) shows they're really trying to assimilate and become good, law-abiding Americans. It is me who should learn to speak Spanish and accept their rich contributions to our culture.

If I appease these people and help deconstruct our laws and culture for their advancement these neo-Aztecs might sacrifice me last...

Seriously, I overhear the term "Aztlan" thrown around a lot when overhearing their conversations. Too many believe in this mythos.

43 posted on 01/23/2005 4:35:43 PM PST by NewRomeTacitus (We are at war but our representatives are too fearful to acknowledge it.)
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To: pharmamom

Man Corn: Cannibalism and Violence in the Prehistoric American Southwest
by Christy G. Turner II, Jacqueline Turner


http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/087480566X/ref=pd_sim_b_6/103-2725663-9967824?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance

The argument is over.
Check it out.


44 posted on 01/23/2005 5:02:54 PM PST by DUMBGRUNT (Sane, and have the papers to prove it!)
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To: wizardoz

Well, perhaps if they were captives, but the article seemed to indicate they were treated well before sacrifice?
I don't remember talking about that stuff in Anthro in college. Maybe I blocked it out!
sundero


45 posted on 01/23/2005 5:04:27 PM PST by brytlea
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To: SunkenCiv; wagglebee
There's pretty unequivocal evidence of human sacrifice at Chichen Itza, IMO:

Chichen-Itza

The sacred city of the Itza, called Chichen-Itza (chee-chehn eet-sah) in Maya, is located 75 miles east of Merida, the Capital of the State of Yucatan, Mexico. This archaeological site is rated among the most important of the Maya culture. . .The Cenote of Sacrifice was reserved for rituals involving human sacrifice involving the rain God. The victims were not only young women, but also children and elderly men and women.

46 posted on 01/23/2005 5:05:24 PM PST by Fedora
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To: raybbr

G-d I'm glad I'm not in corporate america. I remember people exactly like you guys are describing.

Salesmen are sometimes like that too. I can't stand it. Back in college it seemed like the frat boys were like that too. And back in highschool it seemed like the drama club weirdos were like that.


47 posted on 01/23/2005 5:15:59 PM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: biblewonk
The movie The Black Robe is based on the diaries of a French priest who lived among Great Lakes Indians in the 1500s. Definitely not a PC version of history.
48 posted on 01/23/2005 5:36:15 PM PST by Pelham
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To: ClearCase_guy
You wrote: Hmmmmmmmmm. I dunno. I think we can still spin this to make the Europeans look bad, but I'm gonna need another grant ...


What??? You're not blaming Bush??? What's wrong with YOU? Oh, I get it. You need another huge grant or is that 'hugh' grant (he was cannibalized in a cab) or is that Mr. Grant (Ohhhhhhh Rrroooobbb. Wrong show, right actress) before you can come to any 'preliminary conclusion.' A final conclusion will cost you another five million US dollars.

/sarcasm off/
49 posted on 01/23/2005 5:51:43 PM PST by HighlyOpinionated (/sarcasm/ is as /sarcasm/ does. Life is like a bowl of sarcasm.)
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To: Fedora

in front of the largest of the pyramid / temples that stood in Tenochtitlan, running much of the length of the plaza, was a structure the Aztecs called "The Corncrib". It was stacked full of human skulls, fruits of the human sacrifice rituals. The Spanish cleared that out, and demolished various other structures. Some years back a double-sided sculpture of the Atzec idol Huitzilipochtli was discovered during some kind of excavation.


50 posted on 01/23/2005 6:05:13 PM PST by SunkenCiv (In the long run, there is only the short run.)
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