A 500-year-old burial, with the complete skeleton of an individual surrounded by more than a thousand bones humans of children, adolescents and adults, has recently been discovered by specialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH - Conaculta), in the Historic Center of Mexico City, near the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlán.
This finding is unique, according to the archaeologist Raúl Barrera Rodríguez, responsible for the Urban Archeology Program (PAU) of the INAH.
“Multiple other burials have been found in Mexican culture, but this is the first where the main skeleton was found surrounded by human bone pieces of different age groups.”.
Barrera Rodriguez He also explained that in addition to the bone remains, “A circular structure of tezontle was found that contained a trunk, which, due to its location, would correspond to one of the 'sacred' trees associated with what was the Huitzilopochtli shrine, and to the circular platform - discovered in 2011 - which was determined to be one of the five cuauhxicalco (ceremonial building) that had the sacred site of Tenochtitlán”.
The burial was discovered approximately five meters below street level, under a basalt sandstone floor, which has been identified as the fifth stage of the construction of the Templo Mayor, a period that spans from 1481 to 1486, so specialists estimate that the remains belong to the same period.
“The bones were placed directly on the ground and the complete skeleton was found on the west side of the burial, which is approximately 6.23 meters long by 2.13 meters wide.”, He described Barrera Rodriguez.
Perla Ruiz, Physical Anthropologist in charge of the excavation, added that after the extraction of the bones, a total of 1,789, was achieved identify 10 skulls, three belonging to children and seven to adults. In addition, he stated that the complete skeleton belonged to a woman, determined by the shape of the skull and pelvis.
All the bones were sent to the Laboratory of Physical Anthropology of the Museo del Templo Mayor, where they will be subjected to osteological analysis to determine various aspects such as the exact number of people that make up the burial, their genders and age, pathologies and other marks that determine what type of activities they developed in life.
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