Posted: April 13th, 2008
Aztec Massacre
Watch the Full Episode

A grisly discovery of more than 400 mutilated bodies in Mexico is turning history on its head. Aztec Massacre paints a new picture of the violent relations between the Aztecs and the Conquistadors and rewrites much of what we thought we knew about the Aztec civilization.

A Firefly Production for Thirteen/WNET New York and ITVS International in association with Five, Channel Four International and History Channel (UK).

  • Gerber Cermeno


  • Gerber Cermeno

    es buena historia

  • Jessica Siller

    Very interesting.

  • Jesse Anderson

    I should have know that the other side wood fight back, this is a good story for the youny mind that did not get it.

  • Stan

    Most excellent show! Great overview of the many pages I have read on the conquest. Is it for sale?

  • Stan Andrews

    My understanding of the interpretation of the mutilated human remains at Zultepec is that your producers maintain that this demonstrates that Cortez was able to conquer the Aztecs but at the cost of the second convey of Spaniards. This presentation is facile, in that it neglects the now overwhelming scientific evidence that European diseases preceded Cortez’s trip west. Disease was what rendered the Aztecs vulnerble to attack by a small troop of Spaniards. The other thing that is puzzling, is not the forsenic analysis of the bones, but the lack of any mention of DNA evidence? Do you folks consult with real anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians or do you simply “wing” it? Get some help in the future, please. Regards,

  • Theresa Broussard

    Terrific story. Wish I could make it Mexico some day. What would we do without the terrific programming of PBS stations.

  • Barbara Butz

    I question some of your facts. Your narrator referred to the Templo Mayor as the Templo Mejor – sloppy. But much more questionable, is your portrayal of Teotihuacan as an Aztec city. While they may have used the ruins for certain ceremonial purposes. the city itself was by then in ruins. Created in the last century BC, and having begun to decline 500 years later, this was definitely never an Aztec city and I consider this a gross error. Furthermore your contstant showing of blood/heart/knife, etc. shows that you are going for the gore more than the history.

  • Douglas Daniel

    I enjoyed this episode and appreciated getting to hear about an episode of the Conquest which I personally was not very familiar with, but your narrative made several mistakes or gave false impressions:
    1. If I heard correctly, you stated that Cortez “conquered Cuba”. This is inaccurate or misleading; the conquest of Cuba was led by Diego Velazquez, to whom Cortez was an aide.
    2. Your narrative stated that Cortez heard of the death of Moctezuma on his way back to Tenochtitlan after defeating Narvaez. This is wrong. All historical accounts agree that Moctezuma was still alive when Cortez when Cortez returned to the Mexican capitol, although there is uncertainty about the circumstances of Moctezuma’s subsequent death.
    3. Finally, Diego Rivera’s political myth-making notwithstanding, the idea that the Aztecs did not actively resist the Spanish has never been accepted among historians or anyone familiar with the historical record. Such an assertion is, in fact, laughable in the face of the overwhelming number of historical accounts that depict an intense and bloody war that went on for nearly two years, and in which both Aztecs and Spanish suffered heavy casualties.
    When tackling future topics like this, please make sure of your facts. Also, you do a disservice to your viewers by making sensational and inaccurate claims about the history you are supposed to be presenting.

  • Raul Juan Donoso-Cortes

    And there is more, much more, and it gets better and better. We will see what the DNA tells us, and what further research reveals. One thing is certain is that the change that occurred threw the hemisphere into an entirely different mode. And the future of this transition is simply mind beguiling considering the past with the present and the dynamic future that awaits us.

  • deevz

    Aztec ritual sacrifice, cannibalism and the reasons they were performed isn’t news. That many victims were Spanish is long a matter of record. But that there were Euopean women included, I’ve never read or heard of this before. Fascinating!

  • MKeogh

    The entire theme of this show was silly. The show kept stating that it is “common” belief that the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs was a walk-over and that the Aztecs barely resisted. Huh? All the sources I’ve read, included contemporary accounts, point to an extremely bloody conquest which featured fierce Aztec resistance. La Noche Triste, which the show never mentions, was the worst defeat inflicted upon Europeans in the New World since Columbus’ discovery. This show simply states that Cortes “retreated” from Tenochititlan, but doesn’t mention that retreat cost him nearly 800 Spanish lives. The pictograph of the heads of Spaniards and horses, which the show claims as corroboration for the massacre at Zultepec, is actually an illustration of the aftermath of La Noche Triste.

    Cortes’ eventual capture of Tenochtitlan was a murderour affair featuring block by block fighting and heavy losses on both sides. During this fighting, Spanish soldiers were captured, and we have first hand accounts from Spanish participants who saw their captured comrades being sacrificed. I found the entire premise of this program that it had “discovered” that the Aztecs fought back to be absurdly ridiculous especially when that fact has been well known for over 500 years!

    While this archaelogical find is extremely interesting, this show clearly exaggerrated its historical significance in changing our perceptions of the conquest of the Aztecs.

  • Rob Craig

    The criticisms I’ve read here are all consistent with accounts I’ve read. Another point is that many thousands of native warriors allied themselves with the Spaniards. The Spaniards didn’t win by bravery and weaponry alone, but also by catalyzing a revolt among the subject peoples. As another critic has noted, disease was a more important factor than warfare.

  • jamiealex

    I generally enjoy Secrets of the Dead, but this particular episode was disappointing. I was an anthropology major in college, in a program that had a strong emphasis on the native civilizations of Central America. In fact, Ross Hassig was my professor for several classes! I have two huge beefs:

    First, this program presented some long-known facts as newly-discovered information. The fact that Spaniards were sacrificed, that war and sacrifice had religious meaning to the Aztec, etc. Even the idea that the sacrifices resulted in cannibalism isn’t exactly news. It’s not something that has ever been universally accepted, though. To me, presenting evidence from the recent find as substantiating one side of a long-simmering debate would have been more interesting that presenting it as if were new information. The outstanding new facts to me (as someone who has been out of the field for a while) was the presence of sacrificed European women. THAT was big.

    Finally … kudos on using the Nahuatl pronunciation of Tenochtitlan, but … I was STUNNED when you said it was an Aztec city. The Aztecs were Johnny-come-latelys on the Central American scene — they considered the long-abandoned Tenochtitlan as part of their region’s ancient past. The culture that built it wasn’t even a direct predecessor to the Aztec culture, and was long-vanished. The Aztec used Tenochtitlan as a sacred site — sort of like a modern Druid in southern Britain doing rituals at Stonehenge. This may seem like a small flub, but it really is the equivalent of saying that the Parthenon is Roman.

  • B Ramirez

    The spaniards carried viruses that were unknown to the indians. I wonder if
    the aztecs helped to wipe out there own population by consuming the captives?

  • Grey Wuka

    Portuguese were the first colonist and slave captors and traders. MKeogh, are you saying many who were killed were Spaniards? So, it means they sacrificed the foreigners.
    No cannibalism. No family or tribe eat itself to death, but maybe mass killing (like Jimmy Jones did in Panama) was instituted rather than accepting domination by the foreigners. They were avert sufferings.

  • jorge ochoa

    I enjoyed your show very much. It is like a time capsule that thrust us back to the long gone past. The show only presents a hypothesis of what might had happened during the bloody conquest of the mesoamericas. The anthropologists demostrated all the revelant facts and figures.

  • MKeogh

    Grey Wuka, I’m sorry, but do not understand either what you are asking me or what your post is about. What do the Portugese have to do with Hernan Cortes’ conquest of the Aztecs? I’m guessing English is a second language for you? Oh, Jonestown occured in Guyana, not Panama.

    My post was simply a reiteration of what several others have already stated here: that it was absurd for Secrets of the Dead to present already well-known facts (the Aztecs resisted fiercely, Spaniards were captured and sacrificed, ect) as “new discoveries.” It was insultingly silly.

  • Jeff Romero

    It was with great dismay that another example of the “black legend” has surfaced with your recent documentary, “Aztec Massacre.” You perpetuate it by asserting that the conquest of the Aztecs by Spaniards was not as easy as Spanish historians suggest. You imply that the Spanish distorted the history of the conquest by omitting the fierce resistance put up by the Aztecs. Such an implication is a blatant falsehood for which the producers of the documentary should be admonished.

    Students of Mexican history are well aware of the chronicles of Bernal Diaz del Castillo, one of Cortez’ lieutenants, who wrote a detailed description of the many fierce battles fought with the Aztecs during the course of the conquest. He wrote:
    “… some three to four soldiers who were there with us and who had served in Italy, swore to God many times that they had never seen such fierce fights,, not even when they had taken part in such between Christians and against the artillery of the King of France, or of the Great Turk, nor had they seen men like those Indians with such courage in closing up their ranks.” The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico, Part LXXXVII.
    Please cite evidence that the Spaniards wrote that the conuest of Mexico was easy.

  • Charles Emerson

    Aztec resistance did collapse once they began dying like flied from smallpox. One African slave aboard a ship bringing reinforcements had smallpox. If that was the same group, many of whose members were captured and massacred by the Aztecs, then smallpox was in that party. When Cortez left them to go ahead with the faster mounted group, he would have left any sick behind. It seems likely some of that group might have developed smallpox, in which case the Aztecs sealed their own fate by capturing them. Once the disease began spreading among Aztec towns and villages, it killed Aztecs faster than they could kill Spaniards. Is there any way to tell for sure if this massacre was when the Aztecs first caught smallpox?

  • Jeff Coyle

    I learned of your new facts over 40 years ago as a Latin American History major in college. You really need to do better research. Try “Naval Power in the Conquest of Mexico” by Mahan or Bernal Diaz del Castillo’s first hand account. I think we got the idea with one depiction of human sacrifice.

  • Veronic Barry

    See Bernal Diaz del Castillo or Naval Power in the Conquest of Mexico. The resistance of the Aztecs has been documented for centuries. The victor rarely understates the ferocity the defeated lest the glory of the victory be deminished. One depiction of the human sacrifice would have been enough.

  • Ditra Walsh

    Before Teotihuacan and its history are mis-represented again by Secrets of the Dead producers, they must get their facts straight. It was NOT built by the Aztecs, who are more properly called Mexica, and its pyramids were not each dedicated to a particular god in the Mexica pantheon. It is not yet clear what purpose most of those pyramids served. It is not clear that Teo was ever used by the Mexica for their rituals, though Mexica rulers made pilgrimages there and a great battle was fought there between Mexica and Spanish. Teotihuacanos had their own history of human sacrifice, but it long predates the Mexica (the evidence has been found). Teo was built starting around 200 BC, and fell sometime between 650 and 750 AD, and the Mexica built Tenochtitlan, according to most experts, around 1325 AD. Also the announcer for such programs must be able to pronounce names a lot better.

  • Rachelle Young

    I repeat what has been said above. The research and commentary on this production was pathetic. The only thing being ’stood on its head’ is the reputation of PBS. There were several historical flaws in your account, but the largest was the entire theme that the Spaniards pretended to have an easy conquest. People more often exaggerate their difficulties rather than minimize them, but, in any event, the stirring account of Bernal Diaz makes it clear how hard the struggle really was. Don’t you people do even minimal research? Maybe now I know what happened to Dan Rather’s former CBS ‘researchers.’

  • militiaman

    This revisionist nonsense just reduces PBS’s credibility one notch further.

    I’ve written my reps in Congress, requesting that they withhold funds to the organization, because it’s an amateurish station that plays too fast and loose with the truth.

    Anybody that is familiar with the history of the Americas knows this presentation is no more than transparent propaganda.

  • Elrey Jones

    The Indian Massacre of the English Virginia colony in 1622 was also a bloody savage massacre. Indians were reported carrying body parts of those massacred around as trophies. Conquest was never as easy as it is to many who can sit behind a desk in an air conditioned room and lie about facts. Yes the Europeans absolutely conquered the Indigenous in the Americas but don’t ever believe for a moment that it was easy. The indigenous fought with everything they had.

  • Mass LFT

    Not only was the history written by the victors as this documentary suggests, but also were the Florentine Codex from where their information seems to stem from! So to does the myth of the Aztecs thinking or believing the spaniards were gods. That myth was written in 1552 in Spain by Gomara who wasn’t even there! The so called legend of the “Return of Quetzalcoatl” didn’t even exist before 1519. Read Camilla Townsend’s “Burying the White Gods”. Not one documentary of the Aztecs is free of this historical misconception.

  • jportanova

    The documentary was interesting, but too sensationalized (too many human sacrifice re-enactments) but i guess that’s what sells to the public.

    Unfortunately, the premise of Aztec non-resistance is not borne out by the sources (Castillo, Cortes’ letters, etc.) which emphasize the difficulties the Spanish had even with advantages of weapons (and with thousands of Tlaxcalan and other allies at their side).

    Most interesting, though, was the attribution of the Zultepec skeletons to the aftermath of Narvaez’ expedition based on the presence of Spanish women if in fact their ethnicity can be proved by forensic evidence alone (would any DNA have survived the burnings and exposure of the bones? That analysis would have been interesting). Also, was this group the ONLY possibility? There are mentions of later groups of Spaniards that landed at Veracruz and joined Cortes in the siege of Tenochtitlan– could this possibly have been one of these groups captured on their way to the siege?
    Moctezuma died, by all accounts, AFTER Cortes returned to Tenochtitlan.

    The material about the Quetzalcoatl myth is controversial. There are sources mentioning omens, based on native sources, but these are post-1519. Even these suggest some confusion as to whether Moctezuma thought the Spanish were gods, and if so which ones (the regalia sent to Cortes by Moctzuma included that of Quetzalcoatl, Tlaloc, and Huitzilopochtli so it’s not sure which legend was involved). Also, how many of the legends were used to 1. justify the conquest (there are Christian elements in some of them, possibly the influence of the Spanish on the narrative?) 2. explain the Spanish victory (by blaming Moctezuma, it being implied that his weakness destroyed the “empire”) is uncertain.
    Lastly, the Aztec empire (really an alliance led by the Mexica in Tenochtitlan, who with their allies imposed tribute on other tribes) probably fell from a number of causes, some not focused upon in the documentary (and non-resistance was not one of them): the revolt of his own subjects against Moctezuma, the independent state of Tlaxcala’s alliance with Cortes, the introduction of smallpox into the population (presumably by Narvaez’ expedition); the superiority of Spanish weaponry (metal weapons versus obsidian ones that broke on impact against metal) naval expertise, and tactics (and the preoccupation of the Mexica with taking prisoners for sacrifice rather than just killing the enemy in battle); and the cleverness of Cortes in playing off the local tribes against Moctezuma.
    I found the documentary useful in parts but too sensationalized and simplistic (or inaccurate) in others.

  • earl lord

    i would like to get a new catalogue for 2008-2009. i teach govt. and u.s. history. all i have is an old catalogue. mail to thanks
    earl lord
    9898 maple st.
    hesperia high school, hesperia, ca 92345

  • hahastfu

    Militiaman- Would you prefer more programs about Hooters or Playboy? Get real. You need to write you’re reps about providing free birth control to reduce the chances of more embarassments like yourself.

  • Amanda Silvestri

    This was very interesting. Being traditionally educated, I have never herd of the Spanish being sacrafised. But where is Zultepec?

  • John McMahon

    hahastfu(?)- Before you open your ignorant mouth, why don’t you do some research, instead of relying on whatever propaganda PBS, (run by subversive, anti-American, anti-European, communists), (yes, really), feeds you. This show and all of PBSs shows are full of crap. Yes, their propaganda is sophisticated, (somewhat), and apparently, it’s enough to fool you and a hell of a lot of other people. But wake up. Don’t believe everything your fed. By the way, “public” television, is not public, as the “public” has no say as to what can be aired. And we’re being forced to subsidize this crap? We’re being taxed to support propaganda that is working against us, and ultimately wishes our demise? (European-American culture, ie: Liberty, Freedom, Individual Rights, Justice under the Law)?. I don’t think so. It’s time to end this B.S. — I guess as long as there are low I.Q. people like you hahastfu(?), they’ll keep getting away with it though. What did Barnum say? “There’s a sucker born every minute”? I rest my case. — By the way, vote for Chuck Baldwin for President of these United States in 2008. (No, not you “hahastfu”(?), I know your not smart enough or have the mental capacity to think for yourself. This is for the more intelligent people that may me be reading this post. By the way hahastfu(?), I think “Celebrity Expose” is on right now.)

  • EluetheraM

    After reading most of the comment’s on here I wonder why people don’t just change the channel? I mean do you watch them just to pick them apart? I usually find myself after work sitting on the couch flipping through the channels and if something is on I don’t like, I change it. Is it really that hard?

  • pinky and the brain

    well john mcmahon i very much so agree with you on everything you have said except that voting doesnt do anything! our votes are “popular” votes… which means the govt does it to see whos popular with the ppl not who is actually going to run our nation. sorry its true. george bush stole the election whether you wanna believe it or not. the whole florida thing was just shut us up, so they (big brother) can continue to do what they’ve always wanted to do, regardless of what are votes do! which is nothing!
    think about it… when you watch the presidential debates.. all their doing is blowing smoke up your A**, so you’ll vote for them, their all political snakes.. and in the end your still gonna pay WAY too much for gas and continue to pay taxes for social security that you may or may not get in the future and for a war we should not be in! thank you for reading!

  • Thalia Sanders

    My ancestors came over during this tumultous time and we survived, narrowly.

  • Moonpie

    I’m so thankful that I don’t have to live with, work with, or be near any of the writers in this forum who have written the hateful comments. Apparently, these are people who don’t have social skills, but always manage to find a forum to spew their hateful thoughts. They write because no one wants to listen to them. Bless you, I really feel sorry for you.

  • whatsupdoc

    The explanation is in the time: “10/9/08 @ 4:59 am”. I understand Gmail is planning on making a ’stupid-drunk comments’ filter available (that will require users after 12MN to perform a quick mental calculation before sending out inflammatory emails). Of course, that assumes that users have sense enough to avail themselves of the service.

  • Aeryj

    eww your gross omg

  • Aeryk


  • Brewmeisterbro

    I just wanted to add my voice to that of jportanova and others who have posted here.

    Your program made many outrageous errors. Did you even consult with any anthropologists or archeologists before you aired the program?

    I am a student of Mexican history and I am preveliged to say I have recently been able to visit both the archeological sites of ancient Teotihuacan and the site of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan. Mexico City now stands in the spot where the Aztec capital once existed. The archeological site of Teotihuacan is about 30 miles to the northeast of present day Mexico City. Is it possible that the producers just got the two names confused? INEXCUSABLE!

    In the program the narrator announced that Teotihuacan was “the center for Aztec sacrifice”. Although scientists are sure that the Aztecs were aware of Teo and gave it is name, which is translated from Nahuatl to mean “place of the gods” or “where men become gods”, the city was abandoned for centuries before the Aztecs arrived in Valley of Mexico.
    The remains of human sacrifice have been found there but archeologists have not identified what group of humans performed the sacrifices. It is truly one of the worlds most profound mysteries. No scientist can tell you who the people were who built those glorious pyramids. This point was totally ignored by the producers!

    The other outrageous error that the producers of this series have made is in regard to their main proposition that history needs to be re written in regards to the losses suffered by the Spaniards at the hands of the Aztecs. It is well documented in multiple volumes that the Conquistadors lost hundreds in their battles with the natives that lasted at least two long years. Have the producers never heard the Spanish reference to “Noche de Triste”/ the Night of Sadness? It was graphically documented in the first hand account titled “The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico” by the conquistador Benal Diaz Del Castillo.

    I can go further in my reference list for the producers but I suspect it would be futile. They appear to be too lazy to check their facts with the scientists or to even browse through the childrens section of their local library!

  • Cacalotl

    To Brewmeisterbro :
    I study ancient Mesoamerican religion. Even if I agree the most part of your comments, you forgot to mention that the Aztecs used the Teotihuacan rites. The colonial texts mention that Moctezuma was used to meditate here. The same Aztecs got a lot of Teotihuacanos artifacts that have been by archaeologists like Matos Moctezuma or Lopez Lujan in the mere Great Temple of Tenochtitlan. So it proved that the site of Teotihuacan wasn’t totally abandoned. Secondly, I’d like to remind you that Bernal Diaz del Castillo wasn’t part of Cortes expedition in Mexico. He never mentions him in his letters to the emperor Charles 5th. Bernal Diaz isn’t reliable : he copied other texts, and most of them, badly…

  • jesse cuautli

    maybe when the mexica used the spaniards as sacrificial offerings, the gods were angered at the generic, worthless blood that no better than dog urine was in the the spanish line, and brought forth the diseases that ultimately destroyed the fierce and true royal mexica.So in the end the gods destroyed the mexica with disease, the mixed with moor blood spaniards took the credit- since they wrote the story in their favor-and 500 years later the mexica still exist.Defying man ,disease,andgenocide.Even defying the gods themselves. That is what makes a people and their bloodline true.

  • David


  • Child of the Sun

    LIES! the story of Indigenous people, continue to be told through the eyes, and mentality of the invaders, and real killers of many indigenous nations. It is said, that when the spanish arrived to ANAHUAK it set Humanity back 500 years.. Poorly done!Historically Inaccurate!

  • Child of the Sun

    This is not about changing Channels, if you don’t like what you see, But it is about the dignity of a people! SO it is our right to correct inacuracies about OUR story! because HIStory is euro-centric and inaccurate!

  • TU MADRE!!

    y must they ALWAYS focus on this part of my ancestors? they glorify what and how many my ancestors killed in self-defense but yet u never hear about the spanish burning hundreds of books on our culture, how they justified their conquest by using religion, and how much GOLD THEY STOLED!!!

  • Alex P

    DId the Auschwit’s jew episode program had mariachi music in it? Then why did merengue was played on most of this episode in the program. Let us be consistent to the TRUTH. Would not be very kosher if you put mariachi music in a jewish holocaust episode would it?

  • Doc_Sarvis

    Not for those who can’t face reality without the comforting filter of political correctness. Human sacrifice and ritualistic cannibalism were part of the story. Are we to ignore it because chauvinisitic ethnocentrists can’t deal with the truth?

  • Lynne Rabuse

    I agree with many of the criticism above and am glad to see I wasn’t alone in noticing some of the more egregious errors. Diego Rivera murals? The murals shown in this video are NOT Rivera murals. The ruins of Teotihuacan were just that–ruins, abandoned before the Aztecs arrived on the scene. To try and link the two (probably because there are no Aztec pyramids to use, given the Spanish destroyed them) is really misleading to those who are just learning about the Aztecs and Mesoamerican history. I really would have expected more from PBS. Disappointing.

  • some body

    chingen a su madre putos

  • Frank Kalich

    I quit watching TV 5 years ago, and just found that the PBS website has videos. I am shocked that PBS has sunk to this level, this sensational nonsense they are passing off as history. All the shows in this series are like this. Notice how seldom you see PhD next to the names of any of the “experts” here, or an affiliation with a respected University? This kind of show belongs as late night entertainment on the History Channel, after the shows about Space Aliens who have visited earth, not on PBS!

  • Frank Kalich

    Also, it is testimony to my above statement, to see the nasty exchanges that we see here in the comments. This is because in this series, they do not stay within the bounds of drawing conclusions only when supported by solid critiqued research. They just have a bunch of people who really are only guessing about things, who are not qualified to do more than that, and who do not know the rules to follow for serious historical analysis. When serious history is presented, people can have different opinions, but they are respectful to each other, because one can see reasonably substantial evidence to support the opinions. I guess this is what sells now though, most want entertainment, not education.

  • Maria

    I like it. I could care less about the comments other people have. I love PBS!!!

  • Qwerty

    To Frank Kalich:
    The people don’t have their credentials displayed because that would be silly. Do you show your resume to everyone you talk to? I don’t, and no sane person does. Just because you don’t see any PhD doesn’t mean they don’t have one. It means you don’t see any PhD. That’s it, and that’s all. If you think they should only be qualified to comment on this if they have a PhD, where’s your PhD for doing it? The show doesn’t say that this must be how it was, it says, this is what they think happened based on what we know. It says that they aren’t certain several times. As for the comments, we’ve got people from all over the world being allowed to comment. It would be nice if everyone would get along, but I’m afraid we don’t live in Happy Magic Sunshine Land, so you can keep dreaming if you think that a group of people won’t act like this. In fact, historians have been known to insult each other before. That’s because we live in reality, where people do, in fact, get annoyed and have tempers and, in short, are people. Get over it.

  • M. Murphy

    I watched the film on-line from my home not far from the Plaza Mayor. I applaud PBS for having a go at Mesoamerican history. Better luck next time.

    This would-be shock-you-mentary fails–in form and substance–to educate, entertain, or inspire. As Mr. Daniel, Ms. Walsh, and Ms. Butz note, the presentation belied the film creators’ lack of foundation in Mexica culture and history. The narrator seemed to have received no assistance with the basic terminology. As Mr. P suggests, the sound track lacks congruity with the subject. I suspect the dedicated INAH consultants had no opportunity to review the material before this went on the air. It does a disservice to the public.

    PBS can do better. And, when they finally get there heads around our North (not Central) American geography, the BBC could do better, too. I hope they give it another go. The story requires no sensationalistic embellishment, only a bit more respect for the subject matter, the archeologists, and the audience.

  • Britt Rednour

    Prettyy interesting stuff here. Pretty cool if I dont say so myself.

  • Raul Juan Donoso-Cortes

    The Spanish could not lose, and the Mexica, so-called Aztecs, could not win!! The difference is similar to eagles and mice.

  • B.AMiron

    I just left a review of this show at imdb………it was the only one there so it will be easy to find……… it i reiterated what i am very happy to find in the comments here…………let me just say this, REVISIONISM should be a serious crime………………the fact that cortez lost probably between 800-900 of his newly combined forces including his entire rearguard during his flight from the aztec capital readily negates the claims that it would be a surprise to find spanish remains in what was once the aztec empire……….it is safe to conclude, statistically speaking, that with that number of casualties, that not all his men were killed outright………..not to mention the unknown number of native allies…………this alone could account for the mass grave at the aztec priests holy site………………i would be interested in what response PBS or the show itself might have for these glaring errors in historical facts.

  • David

    @John McMahon
    Look, this episode and maybe others may have some errors(or more than some… not sure.. im in fricking 10th grade, so i dont have a phd so excuse me if i get something wrong!), but that does not mean that this station is run by “anti-american, anti-european… communists.” That is just your revenge on those that actually made it through all the grades (including kindergarten, which you got held back in for failing nap time) that actually did something for their life.
    @pinky and the brain
    I agree with the gas, the lies, and the social security, and the form of voting, but the rest???? COME ON! are you from fricking India?????????
    great comeback.. odd name
    @Frank Kalich
    PBS may not have PHD’s every time, but harvard and some other school used on NOVA are pretty damn reputable, so what is your problem? and it is not stooping, it is accomodating those who dont have acess to tv or a computer, other than through their local library or something. On the other hand, good going on kicking the tv addiction for 5 years.. i admire that!

  • David

    oh and @qwerty:
    GREAT JOB!! loved the happy magic sunshine land.. lol
    anyway… lets see how many more hate comments get posted and see how people twist the truth, and twist the twisted truth….
    Stupid people are like slinkies.. they are fun to play with for a few hours, and then see them fall down the stairs! (unless they post hate comments or are named John Mcmahon, pinky and the brain(mandy), or Frank Kalich, in which case we skip playing with them, and shove down the first set of stairs!)

  • Amir Bengali


  • Antanasia

    this changed my outlook on alot of things………



  • Antanasia

    Has anyone noticed that the Secrets of the Dead episodes reveal all the interesting true stuff that every other history program failed to mention?

  • Taekwondo Tips

    Does that truly work, anyone attempted it but?

  • studia

    Thank you for another fantastic post. Where else could anyone get that type of info in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.

  • Humberto García Escamilla

    Althoug I certainly share almost all the criticism to the dramatised documentary I must say that I liked it a
    LOT because it offer a scarce opportunity to comment about one of the most ashtonizing events of human history and because the archeological findings nárrate here are a trully amazing Discovery. It´s a shame that it not be amply publicited in the country that must be more intrested.
    Being myself a mexican it is difficult to be objective but I can try. I invite my fellow citizen that wrote “chingen a su madre putos” to “Sentir menos y pensar mas”. I’ll go to point some issues with the hope of clarificación:

    1.- The very word “Aztec”, by the way, could be taken as a spurious one. It was créate by Clavijero, autor of “Grandeza Mexicana” at the end of de seventieth century, many years after the conquest, in the context of a struggle between “criollos”, this is, mexicans of european ascendencia, and the iberic that rules with all the privilegies. “Nahuas” and “mexicas” were the names used prior to his neologismo.
    1.- Cortés was not an ignorant “Working class” person. He attended classes at Salamanca University, the most prestigios one at the time. He shows eruditión, clear thought, and strong analytic capacities in his “Cartas de Relación” -”Narrative Letters”- sent to the Emperor of Spain. The rich complexities of his personality are neglected in official mexican history and this reflect un resolved issues about our identity as a mestizo people.
    2.- There were women in the army of Cortés. Although i’m writing pushing back from memory of remote readings, at least one woman is admiratively mentioned by Bernal Díaz: “María de Estrada”, named as “La Conquistadora” because her brave and upgraded carácter.
    3.- We don´t need the hypothesis of the crowd “abandoned” by Cortés in his return to Tenochtitlán as the victims of Zultepec. It is well documented that in 1st of July of 1520 he and his army should leave the city in a hurry because, once Moctezuma died, the new Tlatoani -emperor-, Cuitláhuac, lead a succefull resistence. Unfortunately for the nahuas he died from viruela soon after. Many europeans, men, women and horses, were captured and sacrified. Although it can seem stupid to sacrifice horses I must admit that if I capture a “black hawk” helicópter right now I only can dance around it and in the next week maybe I can use it as a shelter for my hens.
    4.- Congratulations to PBS and to the american system that can provide his people with this stimulating kind of subjects. I wish something similar in my dear but very “aztecnly tortured” actual México.

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  • emmanuel

    the Aztec did not do any type of sacrifices. all the drawing shown on this documentary are made up by the Europeans. the aztec or the native americans did not have the concept of three dimensional drawings. these pictures with sacrifices was all propaganda so the king of Spain would keep funding the conquers with ships and weapons so they could steal all the gold and riches of the Americas!! all of this is made up!!! not true at all !! a total disrespect to the native Americans trying to portray them as savages or barbarians..

  • Mateo

    LOL! Emmanuel, es obvio que no has estudiado la historia prehispánica. Los motivos del rey de españa tenía mucho mas que ver con las riquezas que “moralidad.” Todo lo de la religion y la conquista era nada mas que un pretexto.

  • AztecWarrior_Goddess3000

    SO TRUE. From my experience with the Aztecs, I recall this documentation to being perfectly accurate. We will rise again and, through the use of technology, destroy every civilization that stands in our way.


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  • Addison DeWitt

    The re-creations of the human sacrifice rituals seemed a little off. Wouldn’t the prisoners have been naked (the show has one guy with his flouncy shirt on)? The narrator said prisoners were kept sometimes for months. Would cotton and wool have stood up in the heat – not to mention breed lice?

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  • astma

    Od dawna szuka?em artyku?u na temat Aztec Massacre ~ Watch the Full Episode | Secrets of the Dead | PBS . Dzi?ki

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