Through our research we found that the basis for Aztec sacrifice lay in their cosmology. More specifically, to their concept of the creation of the universe, or cosmos. They believed that without sacrifice and appeasement of their gods, the cosmic universe would be left in a state of chaos. For the Aztec, to regularly feed the gods meant that they could survive to live another day in a universe that was in complete balance. We found it interesting that, though sacrifice was an honourable act, those sacrificed were almost always social deviants. Many authors documented the idea the Aztec implemented “Flowery Wars”, these wars were created as a way for the Aztec to obtain warriors for sacrificial acts. Flowery wars were also invoked by the rulers of the Aztec empires rulers to gain sacrificial victims for their coronation ceremonies. Aztec methods of sacrifice can easily be deemed quite brutal, yet, these methods also relate back to their cosmology and beliefs. The removal of the victim’s heart, for example, can be explained by the Aztec concept of tonalli. They belived that heart holds all of the power in the body. Finally, we feel confident in our decision to focus on the site of Templo Mayor at Tenochtitlan because, even with the scarcity of evidence from this time period, what has been found on this site proves that it best exemplifies Aztec civilization and cultural beliefs.
Above, is a picture of Aztec priests dressed up in ceremonial garb removing the heart of a victim in Tenochtitlan at Templo Mayor