So, can we put the "noble savage" lies to bed yet?
As they waited to be sacrificed outside a temple, the victims made no attempt to escape their fate: their throats were cut, they were decapitated and their hearts ripped out.
Their hands were not tied and they offered no resistance to the sacrificial knife. A seed containing a potent drug was used to paralyse their bodies, leaving the victims aware of a terrifying ritual that has been revealed for the first time by a dig in the vast pre-Colombian city of Túcume in northern Peru.
Archaeologists working in the ruined city of giant pyramids have discovered one of the largest sites of human sacrifice in South America.
That the Europeans were sometimes arrogant and cruel is beyond dispute, but the modern insistence on portraying America's indigenous inhabitants as environment-loving, confused and rather stupid pacifists is beside the mark as well. They fought hard against those who wanted their land and when necessary they fought dirty.
The American Indians were often cruel, themselves. They destroyed the environment without a second thought, at least to the extent their primitive technologies allowed, and, as this new research begins to prove, weren't above sacrificing their own to satisfy their imagined primitive gods. In short, they were men.
It's past time to stop romanticizing ancient Indian cultures and put them on an equal historical footing with the rest of humanity. The conquest of the Americas happened -- what, 500 years ago? -- and the Europeans had deadlier weapons. That's it.
Our ancestors went on, of course, to try and subjugate the conquered Indian tribes and to wipe out their culture by, among other methods, putting their children in English schools and forbidding them to speak their native languages. Had the Indians won more often, I'm pretty sure they'd have done the same. It's shameful behavior by today's standards, but it didn't happen today.
The past is like a different country, they do things different there.
So, let's end the modern campaign to teach our youth that America was founded on the murder of innocents and figure out how to proceed from here -- today.