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Holy Killing

Neil MacGregor focuses on Aztec human sacrifices, and animal sacrifice in ancient Greece.

Neil MacGregor continues his series on the expression of shared beliefs in communities around the world and across time, and focuses on sacrifice..

Displayed in the British Museum is a finely-crafted Aztec knife, dating from around 1500, with a richly-decorated handle. It had a brutal purpose - human sacrifice.

In ancient Greece, animal sacrifice was a vital ritual for connection with the deities: the grounds of a Greek temple were in part a sacred public slaughter-house.

Producer Paul Kobrak

Produced in partnership with the British Museum
Photograph (c) The Trustees of the British Museum.

Available now

15 minutes

Last on

Wed 8 Nov 2017 19:45


  • Wed 8 Nov 2017 09:45
  • Wed 8 Nov 2017 19:45



Neil MacGregor tells the stories of some of the key objects in the series.