Ancient Planet Online Journal, vol. 4 (2013)
From the contents :
Human Sacrifice in Ancient Egypt
By Dr. Lisa Swart
The ritual sacrifice of human beings has been practiced regularly throughout history in various forms and for various reasons. Mention of the words “human sacrifice” for many people brings to mind gruesome scenes of Aztec priests ripping out the still-beating hearts of their unwilling victims in a debauched sadistic ritual replayed continually on television documentaries worldwide. As such, human sacrifice is not typically associated with Ancient Egypt and is still considered a controversial topic despite evidence to the contrary. It was long believed that the Egyptians were too civilized to perform this type of barbarous deed, an excellent example of the transmission of western moral superiority onto the Ancient Egyptians. In fact, the sacrifice of humans is attested in two primary forms in Ancient Egypt. The first being the practice of killing servants (retainer sacrifice) during the formative years of the Egyptian state, and ritualized sacrifice within a magico-religious context that appeared in later periods at the peak of Egyptian civilization.