MU logo University of Missouri sitemap | map | parking | directions | contact the museum
Home | Events | Museum Info | Calendar | Education | Exhibitions | Collections | Support
Home | Exhibitions | Online | Final Farewell Home | Human Sacrifice Home

Final Farewell: The Culture of Death and the Afterlife

Appeasing the Gods: Human Sacrifice in Pre-Columbian Cultures

back to Human Sacrifice section homeKnifeTextileGod Xipe Totec to Tibet section

Knives

knifeThese ceremonial knives were perhaps used by Aztec priests to perform human sacrifices. Priests laid the victim’s body (often a captive warrior) over a stone slab and cut open his abdomen with a horizontal incision to remove his heart, which they gave to the gods as an offering. Obsidian, or volcanic glass, is extremely hard and used in surgical instruments today.

Knives
knifeAztec
15th–16th c.
Mexico, Guerrero
Obsidian and wood
(69.1, top)
flint and wood
(69.2, bottom)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Cedric H. Marks

 

Copyright © 2014 The Curators of the University of Missouri | DMCA | all rights reserved
An equal opportunity/affirmative action institution

Museum of Art and Archaeology | College of Arts and Science | University of Missouri
1 Pickard Hall | Columbia, MO 65211-1420 | phone: 573-882-3591 | fax: 573-884-4039 | Email the museum
AAM logoaccredited by the American Association of Museums

Attention:
The Museum is currently closed and moving to Mizzou North. Please continue to check our website for updates and the openings of galleries.