In any conquest those to be conquered must be dehumanized. Why? Because by dehumanizing them and making them appear less than human we somehow justify our aggression, our war, our slaughter of our fellow human being. Somehow we don’t feel as guilty or remorseful about such a thing when we dehumanize others, the “enemy.” We’ve seen this time and time again throughout human history and it is the same case when it comes to the conquest of Mesoamerica by the Spanish Conquistadors and priests. Most of the written accounts sent back to the Spanish Crown were grossly exaggerated to say the least. These accounts painted a picture of Mesoamericans and, later, of Native Americans in general as “savage animals” who were somehow badly in need of “religion and civilization.” In many cases, if not most, the Spanish carried out a policy of summary destruction not only of artifacts made by the ancient people of Mesoamerica but any records that they may have had. The entire history of these people was lost and remains so thanks to this conquest! That noted………..
Back in 1951 archaeologist Samuel K. Lothrop made an excursion into Panama and discovered what is known as the Playa Venado site. At this site he unearthed 220 bodies which he theorized had been butchered or buried alive or perhaps decapitated because they were enemies or the remains of a defeated army. And his research at this site has been widely noted since then. But, as it turns out a new study by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute says Lothrop got it ALL WRONG. Smithsonian archaeologists say the site’s human remains, in fact, show no signs of trauma at or near the time of death. Likely this was just a common graveyard, that’s all. Continue Reading