Q:

Why did the Aztecs sacrifice humans?

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Quick Answer

The Aztecs sacrificed humans because they believed that without the sustenance of human life-blood, the sun would fail and the world would end. Their gods had sacrificed themselves to bring the world into existence, so humanity must continue the sacrifices to ensure the world remained sustained.

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Why did the Aztecs sacrifice humans?
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Full Answer

The Aztecs were, in many ways, an apocalyptic civilization, believing that light and darkness were in a constant struggle and that at any moment the sun could lose the fight. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, every 52 years, all lights were extinguished and people waited, breathless and terrified, for the Pleiades to reappear in the sky. When this happened, fires were re-lit and sacrifices resumed to provide extra energy to the gods fighting to maintain the world.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What did the Aztecs trade?

    A:

    The Aztecs traded crops such as beans, corn, pears, squash, tobacco, cotton, tomatoes and peppers as well as turkeys, feathers and blankets. Because they didn't have a monetary system in place, the Aztecs bartered with goods.

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  • Q:

    What did the Aztecs look like?

    A:

    The native people of the Aztec Empire looked much like the ethnically indigenous people of Central and South America today. The Aztecs lived in what is now Central Mexico and arrived in Mesoamerica in the early 13th century. However, it is important to note that as the Aztec empire grew in size, it also grew more ethnically diverse, and to associate one ethnic appearance with the Aztec people is inaccurate.

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  • Q:

    What jobs did the Aztecs do?

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    There were a number of jobs available in Aztec society, and people had access to certain types of work depending on the social group they were born into. Farm work formed the foundation of the Aztec economy, but there were also diverse middle class occupations like merchant, artisan and soldier.

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  • Q:

    Who conquered the Aztecs?

    A:

    The Spanish army, led by Hernán Cortés, conquered the Aztecs. The battle for parts of what is now Mexico lasted for just over two years between the Aztecs and the Spanish.

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