>>>>>>>>Eliot Braun wrote: ...The spin of child sacrifice may be more
>>>>>>>>speculation than fact. That seems to be the case for the "child
>>>>>>>>sacrifices" of Carthage, just recently relegated to the realm of
>> I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the traditional interpretation of
>> sacrifice at the Carthage 'tophet', despite Jeffrey Schwartz's recent
>> press release, which was confusing in itself- "Our results show that some
>> children were sacrificed, but they contradict the conclusion that
>> Carthaginians were a brutal bunch who regularly sacrificed their own
> > Patricia Smith has been conducting an examination of the same tophet
> > bones Schwartz analyzed (or at least from the same excavation) and has
> > come up with opposite conclusions. I would withhold final judgement
> > until her report is published.
> > Sam Wolff
> (former 'topheteer')
Since ancient times there has been a tendency to "rethink" human sacrifice
as something else.
In Chapter One of his book "The Sacred Executioner: Human Sacrifice and the
Legacy of Guilt" (Thames & Hudson, 1982), Hyam Maccoby writes:
"The era of human sacrifice arrived when... the gods were portrayed in
human, not animal, form. ... A higher valuation of human status and a
lessened awe of animals caused a horror of human sacrifice to develop, so
that... references to it in myth were censored and transformed in various
ways out of recognition. This is the era when human sacrifice had the
character of a great secret and the myths we shall be examining are
therefore in a coded form."
The "codes" Maccoby refers to are simple alterations in story line, ancient
forms of "spin." Cain and Romulus were transformed from perpetrators of
foundation sacrifices into murderers. Blame and guilt were thereby shifted
from the beneficiaries of the foundation sacrifice (i.e. every member of
society) to the sacrificers themselves.
I agree with Sam. Let's withhold judgment about children under the floor
until we're sure we can tell "spin" from evidence.