Can you spot the similarity and the difference between these two images? The top picture is the interior of a church in Portugal. The bottom picture is a partial remain of what appears to have been a circular construction in Mexico City from the age of the Aztecs.
Both are constructed using human remains. The European one is said to feature about 7,000 corpses!
The Mexican one is said to feature 676 skulls.
The European site bears no mention of how the people died. Were they purposely killed to construct this gruesome building? Who knows. (They probably all died a peaceful death in their beds accompanied by their loved ones, right?)
The Mexican site was automatically deemed SOLID PROOF that human sacrifice among the Aztecs was real.
*Just to review, many churches across Europe were constructed using human remains = No one bats an eye.
Mexican remains found in some kind of arrangement = HUMAN SACRIFICE!
I swear to you that I do not go looking for this shit. It finds me. That is how prevalent it is in our modern understanding of ancient Mexicans. Because the claims of human sacrifice have been transmitted almost wholly without examination as to their validity. The first thing that should tip anyone off is that the very first mention of that practice came from a proven liar, Hernan Cortez. Therefore, the claim, at best, is questionable; at worst, completely unfounded.
Here is my comment to the post I embedded below from Reddit. Like I said, I wasn't looking for this. I saw this post when I was trying to find out how to use Reddit. Then I typed "Aztec" to find subreddits and voila! Trash galore!
Here's my response:
"Human sacrifice in Aztec times never happened. This was a fabrication by the Spaniards starting with Cortez, who needed justification for their participation in the slaughter of innocent children, women, and old people when they went into peaceful towns and massacred them alongside their allies Tlaxcalans (Aztec enemies).
The Spanish crown and the Catholic Church ran the show in the exploration of new lands, and Cortez had skirted their rules to be the first to cash in on Mexican treasure. That's why Diego Velazquez sent Narvaez from Cuba after Cortez to bring him to justice. No one knows what happened to that expedition, but they failed to apprehend Cortez and his men. (The likely result was that Narvaez was defeated by the Aztecs or other natives before he could reach Cortez, who was safely secured in the protection of Moctezuma's palaces.)
The Aztecs fell to the Tlaxcalans, but then the Tlaxcalans themselves died in droves from the contagious diseases the Spanish had brought with them. So their leaders could not hold on to power and Cortez wrote to the King of Spain that he had conquered Mexico almost by himself and that the Aztecs were vicious and monstrous people who sacrificed their own, so he pretty much HAD to put a stop to it in the name of the King and the Church. This, as I mentioned above, was only a ploy to ensure that his robbery of the Mexican gold not only from Aztec and Tlaxcalan hands, but also from the Spanish King's "fifth" would be overlooked.
The narrative of "Aztec Human Sacrifice" worked wonders not only for Cortez's immediate needs, but also for Spain's goals of global empire. It set up the rationale that the American natives were savages who needed to be saved from the devil's grasp. (Obviously, because what other god could demand human sacrifice if not Satan himself?)
Regarding the 676 human skulls found under the cathedral in Mexico City, how is this any different than all those BONE CHURCHES IN EUROPE? Why is it that people don't immediately jump to the conclusion that the skulls found in Mexico were arranged in that manner for some aesthetic, religious, or other reason than human sacrifice? Or conversely, why is it that people don't attribute European skull churches (which house thousands of bones, some representing thousands of individuals) to the practice of human sacrifice?
In other words, correlation does not mean causation. Just because you find bones arranged on the walls of a building does not mean it is a sign of the most heinous thing you can imagine. NOBODY knows why those skulls were placed there, nor how those particular people died. And no one CAN know that, because there is no way to see what exactly happened. Cortez lied a lot. That much is proven in his Spanish contemporaries own accounts. And he was the first to mention this supposed Aztec practice to Europe. Therefore, this claim is unfounded due to the source being utterly unreliable."
Straight Subreddit Shit
TIL 676 human skulls was unearthed under the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City. These were the first evidence found that the Aztecs sacrificed women and children that they captured from other nations. As of 2017, the bottom of the pile of skulls still hasn't been reached by excavations. from r/todayilearned
Here's more on the topic of Cortez.