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Pre-colombian history 2

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Here Your Here Here December 17, 2007 Pre-Colombian History Ritual Sacrifice Ritual sacrifice was a common practice, especially among the Aztec people, which represented the murder of another human being during a formal ceremony. For instance, the Aztecs would often bring their captured enemies (or their own citizens) to the peak of the temple where their bodies would be slashed and mutilated for the sake of pleasing the divine deities. The ritualistic aspect of these human sacrifices was a common element of the Pre-Colombian lifestyle, in which many in society would participate and support. Hearts, while still beating, were often removed to honor various Gods, humans might have their blood spilled in order to represent the need for rain, or even simply as a means of satisfying their dietary needs in the form of ritualistic cannibalism. Dancing and chanting, as well as a sacrificial priest, were common elements of the ritual sacrifice. In most instances, the ritual sacrifice was performed so as to induce awe-inspiring religious experiences (Marcus & Flannery, 2004).
Pequots were Native Americans living in the Northeastern United States (rumored to be what is now Connecticut) during the middle ages (approx. 1500-1700). Not a great deal is known about the specific beliefs held by the Pequot nation, however they were virtually eliminated by early-American settlers (Pilgrims) and other various international colonists. The Pequots appear to have had a strong influence in the socio-political affairs of the Northeastern region during the time of the early settlers, however they were perceived to be a significant threat to the stability of the settlers’ beliefs and lifestyles, thus the majority of them were massacred in the Pequot War which raged from 1636-1638. It seems that the Pequot were made the scapegoat for several instances in which early-American settlers were killed by unknown circumstances, perhaps as a justification for their removal from the colonial settlements.
Virgin Soil Epidemic
This represents an instance of disease which is contagious to those who are not native residents of a foreign territory (Jackson, 2003). A series of plagues caused a significant drop in the number of Native Americans in the early colonial regions (East Coast Region) in the United States which was caused by the passing of disease from the settlers to the native populations. For instance, a Dutch settler would have certain immunities to diseases which existed in European nations, however upon the Dutch arrival to the Americas, the Native or Aboriginal population had no previous exposure to these diseases historically, thus they had no genetic immunities to it. The Virgin Soil Epidemic killed many native cultures in the period of very early European exploration and colonization, greatly reducing Native American influence in early America.
Ethnic Soldiering
This is the process of using people of different ethnicities as soldiers or warriors for the sake of securing the needs of those of a different ethnicity. For instance, if a Native American of one particular tribe captured (or bartered for) a slave of another completely unrelated aboriginal tribe and used them to supplement their army, this represents ethnic soldiering. In some instances, early colonial activities engaged in ethnic soldiering when a combatant of another ethnicity was captured who would in turn be responsible for securing the security and combat needs of his captors. One significant factor of ethnic soldiering is that by supplementing a security force with a previous enemy or slave force prevented the loss of their captors’ own people in the event of a physical or armed conflict.
Historical Archaeology
This is a branch of archaeology which is concerned with societies that had advanced to the point of the written language, characterized by an interest in the societal nuances of peoples during the periods of approximately 1200-1700. This type of archaeological domain is different from prehistoric excavations and archaeological projects as these tend to deal with cultures that had not advanced to what is recognized as civilized society. For instance, when archaeologists examine the remains of early Pilgrim settlements, discoveries such as writing tablets would be of interest in this field of study, more so than that of the skeletal remains of early Native American victims of armed colonial conflicts. Historical archaeology helps us to understand the mindset and character of specific historical events or people by examining their texts or diaries which give a broader picture of Pre-Colombian society, perhaps including social structure and family expectations (Hall & Silliman, 2006).
Marcus, J. & Flannery, K. (2004). “ The coevolution of ritual and society: New C dates
from Mexico”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.
101(52): 18257.
Jackson, A. R. (2003). “ New World Paleoepidemiology: Epidemic Disease in the Southeast”.
Retrieved December 16, 2007 from http://www. as. ua. edu/ant/bindon/ant570/Papers/NewWorldPaleoepidemiology. pdf
Hall, M. & Silliman, S. (2006). Historical Archaeology. Blackwell Publishing, MA: 2-6.

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