Monday, April 4, 2016

Sacrifício Humano e Estratificação Social

The work was done by psychologist Joseph Watts at the University of Auckland, along with scholars in social sciences and evolution from Germany and Australia; their findings were published in Nature on Monday. While the cultures shared similarities in their language, they had a wide range of religious beliefs and observances. Many also practiced human sacrifice; the researchers laid out some of the reasons: "Common occasions for human sacrifice in these societies included the breach of taboo or custom, the funeral of an important chief, and the consecration of a newly built house or boat. Ethnographic descriptions highlight that the sacrificial victims were typically of low social status, such as slaves, and the instigators were of high social status, such as priests and chiefs." As for how the sacrifices were carried out, the list includes "burning, drowning, strangulation, bludgeoning, burial, being crushed under a newly built canoe, being cut to pieces, as well as being rolled off the roof of a house and then decapitated." Their findings, the researchers say, are "consistent with historical accounts that speculate that in order for human sacrifice to be exploited by social elites, there must first be social elites to exploit it." The study is the latest modern attempt to understand the cultural role played by human sacrifices – rituals in which people were killed in the name of a supernatural entity. As the researchers note, such practices are known to have taken place "in early Germanic, Arab, Turkic, Inuit, American, Austronesian, African, Chinese and Japanese cultures."

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