This Week In History News, Apr. 19 – 25

Published April 24, 2020

Secrets of Mesoamerican heart extraction unlocked, more than 1,000 Viking artifacts unearthed, Russian region claims to be spared from COVID-19 thanks to ancient mummy.

Researchers Uncover Methods Of Heart Extraction In Ancient Mesoamerican Human Sacrifices

Rendering Of Human Sacrifice

Wikimedia CommonsRendering of human sacrifice and heart removal in ancient Aztec culture.

Some experts estimate that the Aztecs sacrificed as many as 200,000 people every year, with many of them having their hearts removed. During the festival of Xiuhtecuhtli, for example, priests would march to the top of a volcano, sacrifice a man by removing his heart, and then light a ceremonial fire in his chest cavity.

And the Aztecs were far from the only ancient Mesoamericans to sacrifice humans and remove their hearts. Now, researchers have finally uncovered the secrets of how exactly these gruesome ceremonies were performed.

Read on here.

Melting Ice Reveals Over 1,000 Viking Artifacts In Norway

Lendbreen Ice Patch And Horse Dung

Espen Finstad/SecretsOfTheIceThe Lendbreen ice patch after melting, exposing horse dung dating back centuries.

The Lendbreen ice patch in Norway’s Jotunheim Mountains is so remote that it’s only accessible by professional mountain bikers or a helicopter ride.

This wasn’t always the case, however. As a new study on recovered ancient artifacts showed, it was once an extremely busy route of Viking Age traffic.

See what researchers unearthed in this report.

Siberian Region Says They’re Coronavirus-Free Thanks To A 2,400-Year-Old Mummy

Siberian Ice Maiden

Screenshot Altai News/YoutubeThe Altai republic of the southern Siberian territory has not recorded any infections from the current coronavirus outbreak. Some say it is due to the protection of an ancient mummy known as the Princess of Ukok or the Siberian Ice Maiden.

Like the rest of the world, Russia has been hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak, except for its Altai region in southern Siberia where zero COVID-19 cases have been identified so far.

According to locals, the region has been spared from the virus thanks to protection from a mysterious ancient mummy kept in a museum in Gorno-Altaisk, the capital of the Altai republic.

Learn more about the Siberian Ice Maiden.

All That's Interesting
Established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together a dedicated staff of digital publishing veterans and subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science. From the lesser-known byways of human history to the uncharted corners of the world, we seek out stories that bring our past, present, and future to life. Privately-owned since its founding, All That's Interesting maintains a commitment to unbiased reporting while taking great care in fact-checking and research to ensure that we meet the highest standards of accuracy.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.