They discover a great burial of skulls in the Templo Mayor Azteca

They discover a great burial of skulls in the Templo Mayor Azteca

Mexican archaeologists reported last Friday that they discovered in Aztec Major Temple in Mexico City, the largest number of skulls so far. The finding reveals new religious rituals where they used skulls, and that they were made in the most important religious temple of this pre-Columbian civilization, experts said. There the most important Aztec ceremonies took place between 1325 and until the Spanish conquest in 1521.

A total of 50 skulls were found in a sacrificial stone of the Templo Mayor Azteca, of which five of them were buried under the stone and presented holes on both sides, shows that they were hung in a "skulls hanger”, According to the archaeologists of the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico, Raúl Barrera. He also said that the other 45 skulls appeared to have been thrown to the top of the stone.

The team of archaeologists unearthed the skulls and jaw bones last August when they stumbled upon them for “accident”, When carrying out restorations of a sector of the Aztec Major Temple, in the heart of Mexico City.

Barrera stated that 45 skulls belonged to men and women between the ages of 20 and 35 and they could have been dug up from other sites and reburied here. The Mexican government announced that experts had found a unprecedented human burial in another place of the same temple, in which the skeleton of a young woman, possibly sacrificed in honor of a goddess, was found amid 1,800 bones. Another rare discovery this year has been that of “sacred tree”, Which looks like a battered oak trunk emerging from a well and which, according to experts, has been brought from the mountains by a ritual.

Continuing with the new discovery, the experts presented the bones that were mostly in good condition, but somewhat cracked on each side of the head, possibly due to the wooden stake running through them.

Barrera said the key to this discovery was finding the sacrificial stone that looks like a gray headstone. "Under the sacrificial stone, we find an offering of five skulls pierced by a piece of wood”, He expressed.

These findings are very important”Said Susan Gillespie, an archaeologist at the University of Florida, who was not involved in the excavation but was struck by the fact that the skulls were on shelves (called tzompantli), were buried separately.

Offers new information on the use of skull reuse for ritual events at the Templo MayorGillespie said by email. In addition, the popular belief about Aztec sacrifices is that the sacrificed had his chest cut off and his heart removed. "We normally associate that the heart of the sacrificed is removed instead of being beheaded", He expressed, adding that"ultimately gives us a better understanding of how the Aztecs used the human body in their ritual practices”.

Source and images: INAH

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Video: Touring the Templo Mayor Aztec Ruins in the Center of Mexico City