Mayan Sacrifice – brutal or civilised?

In History today we began learning about why Mayans sacrificed animals/humans. We began by exploring a painting of a sacrificial ritual. We discussed what we thought was going on in the photos and generated questions we wanted to ask based on the photo. We found out that some animal sacrifices were carried out by the high priests and was taken very seriously. The animals would be sacrificed as an offering to the gods, usually as part of big event such as a wedding, birth, death.

We then worked as groups to look through a set of photos. We had to discuss whether we thought the pictures showed that the Mayans were either a brutal or civilised people. Many of us thought that even though they were capable of great things, such as creating a number system, developing their own language, using the stars to predict the future etc. we felt that they were a brutal people.