Re: Anthropophagy
Mon, 2 Jan 95 11:00:19 GMT

In Article <3e03bs$> (A madman) writes:
> (Carlos May) writes:
>>Kevyn Loren Winkless ( wrote:
>>: As for hunted meat sources in Mesoamerica, the fact is that it would have
>>: worked for a while for the Aztecs to hunt for their meat (in fact this is
>>: probably what occured in any outlying villages) but the population
>>: density was such around the cities that the population of game animals
>>: would quickly be depleted. No domestic animals, no game animals - where
>>: does one get unsynthesizeable amino acids? OK, plants are a source, but
>>: not all of them. It would not be suprising to discover that one of the
>>: reasons for Aztec sacrifice was for "anthropophagy"

>>In the cities such as Tenochtitlan where such common Mesoamerican game
>>animals as deer might be imported luxury, there was still meat. Turkeys
>>and edible dogs were rasied by households, and fish were harvested from
>>the lake. While most Aztecs probably didn't have large chunks of meat
>>with every meal, they certainly got enough meat suplimenting their mainly
>>grain and vegestable diet to prevent nutritional problems.

Those interested in Aztec nutrition may want to read Ortiz de
Montellano's book on Aztec Medicine, Health, and Nutrition (Rutgers Univ
Press, 1990). Briefly, Ortiz de Montellano dismisses the notion that
ritual cannibalism was undertaken as a protein supplement on the grounds that
it was insufficent in quantity and quality when compared to the diets available
to urban residents of Tenochtitlan. He notes that annual tributes of corn,
beans, chia and amaranth brought to the city in large quantities provided
sufficent calories, nutrients and protien which exceeded WHO nutritional
standards and would have been available to the resident population of between
40-150,000 inhabitants.

>I know that in South America, Guinea Pigs are commonly eaten, and are
>let to run around the kitchens eating scraps until they're fat enough
>for dinner. Any chance they were eaten by the Aztecs? (I have no idea,
>knowing nothing about the history of the guinea pig).

Ortiz de Montellano also lists several sources of animal protein.
Waterfowl, fishes, and insects are among the most important, although he notes
they ate almost every living thing that walked, swam, flew, or crawled. Dogs
and turkeys appear to be the only domesticated animals kept by the Aztecs.
Interestingly, he suggests that the Aztecs were probably much better fed than
most of the modern mexican population.

* Charles T. Faulkner * When you don't know where you're
* Univ of Tennessee, Knoxville * going any road will take you there.
* ( * Alice