However, Incan sacrifice differs from the practices of many other ancient American peoples. Inca priests took children to high mountaintops for sacrifice, in an exceedingly long and arduous journey, feeding them coca leaves to increase the likelihood of their reaching the burial site alive, and then alcohol. The most important Inca people were mummified and these ancestors were worshipped. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. This description has been repeatedly confirmed by modern scientific studies working on results of archaeological research. There were many Inca gods and there was a main god, called Viracocha. This could include killing of animals, offering of food and material possessions, bloodletting by the members of royalty and in certain cases, human sacrifice. Human sacrifice also served another purpose in the expanding Aztec empire of the 15th and 16th century: intimidation. The Incas did their best to fathom what, at the time, was unfathomable – the violent, unpredictable catastrophes of nature which, in some cases, had ended cultures that preceded them. Early colonial Spanish missionaries wrote about this practice but only recently have archaeologists such as Johan Reinhard begun to find the bodies of these victims on Andean mountaintops, naturally mummified due to the freezing temperatures and dry windy mountain air. John Verano, of Tulane University’s Department of Anthropology, has also been involved in this kind of research. Photograph: Natacha Pisarenko/AP, Machu Picchu, a royal retreat built for an Inca emperor. The Inca prayed and offered sacrifices to their huacas believing that they were inhabited by spirits that could help them. This was done in an attempt to appease the gods, thereby ensuring a good harvest, or to prevent some natural disaster. Toltec. Abraham sacrificed a ram instead, but only after "learning to fear God". More recently, archaeologists have discovered in northern Peru what has been described as “maybe the world’s largest mass child sacrifice”. His advanced skills in the Quechua language, spoken in the central Andes before the birth of the Inca Empire and also by the Incas, enabled him to interview the older indigenous men of Cuzco who were among the last surviving eyewitnesses of the Inca sacrifices. It remained as an eternal holy place. They believed that by eating a person you would be able to inherit their power, skills and accomplishments. If one area of the empire suffered drought or some other form of calamity, the Incas withdrew food and supplies from the storehouses and replaced them when local production increased again. The Incas arose in western South America, one of only six areas in the world where state-level societies arose (the others are Mesoamerica, China, Mesopotamia, the Indus valley and Egypt). The Incas' primary god was the sun god, or Inti, which made agriculture possible. According to Spanish chronicles, the Inca religion included the practice of capacocha, in which some of the healthiest and most beautiful young members of … Closer to home, the Greek author Homer wrote of how Iphigenia was set to be sacrificed by her father Agamemnon to ensure success in the Trojan war (he ultimately sacrificed a deer instead). The calendar year began with December. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. 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