The Sacrifice Picture

The idea of human sacrifice has its roots in deep prehistory,[6] in the evolution of human behaviour. Mythologically, it is closely connected, or even fundamentally identical with animal sacrifice. Walter Burkert has argued for such a fundamental identity of animal and human sacrifice in the connection of a hunting hypothesis which traces the emergence of human religious behaviour to the beginning of behavioural modernity in the Upper Paleolithic (roughly 50,000 years ago).

There has been a lot of debate on the primacy of myth vs. ritual, and the presence of a myth of human sacrifice should not be taken as necessarily implying the historical existence of the actual practice: human sacrifice may be taken as the re-enactment of an older myth, or conversely a myth can be taken as a memory of an earlier practice of human sacrifice. Theistic rationalisations of human sacrifice may involve the idea of offering to deities as payment for favourable interventions in an event of special importance, to forestall unfavourable events, or to purchase disclosures about the physical world.

Human sacrifice has been practised on a number of different occasions and in many different cultures. The various rationales behind human sacrifice are the same that motivate religious sacrifice in general. Human sacrifice is intended to bring good fortune and to pacify the gods, for example in the context of the dedication of a completed building like a temple or bridge. There is a Chinese legend that there are thousands of people entombed in the Great Wall of China. In ancient Japan, legends talk about Hitobashira ("human pillar"), in which maidens were buried alive at the base or near some constructions as a prayer to ensure the buildings against disasters or enemy attacks.[7] For the re-consecration of Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, the Aztecs reported that they killed about 80,400 prisoners over the course of four days.

Model from

Premade Background by ED_resources

Skull by mjranum
Creative Homework #3 (end)
The Sacrifice
Soul of a river - Merevaik
Harley J. Monterey - WWP