Did ancient Egypt practise human sacrifice?

Posted On: Sep 11th, 2018 at 14:23

Quite frankly I wouldn’t be surprised – human sacrifice appears to have been a worldwide phenomenon. However, one of my areas of research is how the human sacrifice interpretation of many ancient skeletons may well be wrong, and more or less used as a cop-out when no other evidence is apparent. For example, if a skeleton shows signs of damage caused by another human, it doesn’t automatically mean the person was sacrificed. There is often no such evidence that a sacrifice has taken place, so I believe there is major overkill on the sacrifice rhetoric.
It’s the same with the term “ritual”, which has the same connotation – if archaeologists don’t understand what’s going on with a particular burial, for example, does that automatically mean a ritual has taken place?
We need to be very careful about how we interpret burials and other such findings. There is no doubt that human sacrifice was widely practised all over the world, but is it as prevalent as we are led to believe? Cannibalism is seriously overlooked as an explanation, mainly because of the psychological implications. Disease, long term illness, and intense pain may be other reasons why a person might be “put to death” – it doesn’t have to be a sacrifice.
Anyway, this interesting and detailed article looks at the possibility of human sacrifice in ancient Egypt.