Sunday, August 27, 2006

Savage Nobles

Journalists report history:

Aztecs butchered and ate captured invaders

SKELETONS found at an unearthed site in Mexico show Aztecs captured, ritually sacrificed and partially ate several hundred people travelling with invading Spanish forces in 1520.
because, well, its news to them.

Experts try to reframe history:

... say the discovery proves some Aztecs did resist the conquistadors led by explorer Hernan Cortes, even though history books say most welcomed the white-skinned horsemen in the belief they were returning Aztec gods.

“This is the first place that has so much evidence there was resistance to the conquest,” said archeologist Enrique Martinez, director of the dig at Calpulalpan in Tlaxcala state, near Texcoco.

“It shows it wasn't all submission. There was a fight.”
despite the history of there being one hell of a fight being very well known indeed:

Despite some early battles between the two, CortĂ©s allied himself with the Aztecs’ long-time enemy, the confederacy of Tlaxcallan, and arrived at the gates of Tenochtitlan on November 8, 1519, guests of the Aztecs.

However, the Spaniards and their Tlaxcalan allies became increasingly dangerous and unwelcome guests in capital city. In June, 1520, hostilities broke out, culminating in the massacre in the Main Temple and the death of Moctezuma. The Spaniards fled the town on July 1, an episode later characterized as La Noche Triste. They and their native allies returned in the spring of 1521 to lay siege to Tenochtitlan, a battle that ended that August 13 with the destruction of the city.
And it looks like cultural equivalence is nothing new:

In the writings of Bernardino de SahagĂșn(1499-1590), Aztec "anonymous informants" defended the practice of human sacrifice by asserting that it was not very different from the European way of waging warfare: Europeans killed the warriors in battle, Aztecs killed the warriors after the battle.
-- Nick

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