They sacrificed virgins: Why we need to know more (6 August 2009)

Some archaeologists might pussyfoot around this question more than Pauketat does, but it also seems clear that political and religious power in Cahokia revolved around another ancient tradition. Cahokians performed human sacrifice, as part of some kind of theatrical, community-wide ceremony, on a startlingly large scale unknown in North America above the valley of Mexico. Simultaneous burials of as many as 53 young women (quite possibly selected for their beauty) have been uncovered beneath Cahokia's mounds, and in some cases victims were evidently clubbed to death on the edge of a burial pit, and then fell into it. A few of them weren't dead yet when they went into the pit -- skeletons have been found with their phalanges, or finger bones, digging into the layer of sand beneath them. (Andrew O’Hehir, “Sacrificial Virgins of the Mississippii,” Salon, August 5 2009)

Well now that they we know that they were as mentally crazed as your average (well, maybe a little worse than that) extremist right-winger, but are now nowhere so present to do us harm, we should of course forget about them--or maybe find some way to get rid of their virgin-clubbing grotesque presence completely. I mean, a thousand years from now I don't want museums or historical organizations keeping intact whatever might remain from contemporary right-wing culture (simply having existed doesn't mean of obvious relevance, necessity of preservation). Maybe we could just build a bunch of nice organic gardens over them all. Sort of a way to say, glad you existed and hope you're all some place nice, but it would have been nice if you could have lived in such a way we could not but regret your passing.

Link: Sacrificial Virgins of the Mississippii (Salon)


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