This edited volume is a serious, even pathbreaking, treatment of what, from our temporal and cultural vantage point, are often horrendous practices, worthy of a television series like Criminal Minds. The ritual violence of sacrifice explored in 15 separate chapters includes exsanguination, strangulation, slaying, butchering, possible poisoning, live burial, heart ablation, defleshing, dismemberment, forced joint relocation, recycling of body parts, trophy acquisition, possible flaying, and the surface exposure of dead bodies and their subsequent decomposition. Belying the seeming brutality is the sobering realization that ancient peoples engaged in such practices often, but not always, as part of the veneration and supplication of their ancestors and other supernatural forces in sacred spaces.

Collectively, the authors cover the Moche, Sican, Chimu, and Inca cultures, with a few mentions back to the Wari and a few remarks forward to Spanish colonial times and practices....

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