Monthly Archives: June 2010

We won’t see this on Mythbusters

The return of Mayan-style human sacrifice

…some of the best historical stories hide behind the most oblique academic titles. Take, for example, Vera Tiesler and Andrea Cucina, ‘Procedures in Human Heart Extraction and Ritual Meaning: A Taphonomic Assessment of Anthropogenic Marks in Classic Maya Skeletons’ (Latin American Antiquity 17 2006).

Briefly, then, members of the staff of the Medical Forensic Service in Mérida (Mexico) took three corpses. The staff pinioned the corpses out on the table in the style of illustrations of Mayan sacrifices (‘overextended position’). They then proceeded to remove the heart from the three corpses, following a different technique on each body, employing Mayan cutting instruments (‘bifacial obsidian knives’) instead of scalpels. They also removed the liver and other organs. All this was done to see whether marks were left on the skeleton.

From Beachcombing’s Bizarre History Blog.

Make: Day – Dressed for the Occasion

Thinking of my interest in traditional woodworking, I wore my Oldtools cap and a T-Shirt from Lost Art Press for our visit to Make: Day:

mia_mcdavid photographed the shirt at an appropriate location in the museum shop :-)> (Full size picture here). It attracted attention from several of the demonstrators and museum staff. I explained that it was a reference to the work of Joseph Moxon.