According to the latest sociological study, our world was built on human sacrifice. It seems that the concept of social hierarchy dates back from the time in which humankind used to build altars and slay individuals on them in the name of their gods.
History is filled with examples of human sacrifices. And even though the world was not as connected as it is today, and there were entire civilizations who knew nothing about each other, almost all of them considered the idea of sacrificing a fellow human being for the glory of their individual gods.
Of course, they each had their different ways of ritually killing other people. For example, the Mayans used to climb on top of the Sun Pyramid, lay their future sacrifice on the ritual table and pull the heart out of his body and present it to the Sun. Naturally, the organ was supposed to keep beating when the priest performed the ritualistic offering.
Other civilizations, like the Japanese, considered that if they killed a woman at the site of a rushing river, the spirit of the water would be placated, thus allowing the people to build bridges and safe boat passages.
In Egypt, when a Pharaoh died, his servants would have been buried next to the former leader, so that he could be served in the afterlife as good as he was during his life.
Austronesians would crush a person under a new canoe to ensure it will not sink when put to good use. Also, Austronesians would kill a person by throwing it from the roof of a house and then chopping out its head.
All of these sacrifices were ordered “by the gods” and implemented by people who climbed the social ladder. In order to better understand who were the recipients of “godly punishments” or the gifts to the same gods, just take in mind the fact that if a wealthy person committed a crime considered taboo by the society, that individual would have the possibility of passing the punishment on to a slave.
Moreover, it seems that the gods were not that picky when it came to the persons that were being sacrificed in their name. Our world was built on human sacrifice because the practice was used by the wealthy to impose on the poor.
Human sacrifice made the powerful seem even more powerful, and the poor was powerless. The entire concept of social layers was constructed in the time in which human sacrifice was used as a means of labeling social classes.
Image source: Wikimedia