Cannibalism and human sacrifice are practices abhorrent to modern civilization. Yet they were remarkably common, taking place on all continents save Antarctica. Did they spread from a single point of origin, or arise spontaneously in different locations? Is there a causal relationship between the two practices? When and how did religion factor into their evolution? These questions and more are explored by E. M. Loeb, along with a survey of circumcision—also a global practice—that may shed light on its original purpose.

Meticulously researched, historically compelling, Loeb’s 1923 paper is reproduced here in its entirety, including the maps so often omitted from reprints and a new foreword by C. S. Friedman. Whether you are a historian seeking to understand ancient practices or a novelist in search of details for worldbuilding, The Blood Sacrifice Complex is sure to provide a treasure-trove of facts and observations for inspiration.