Skip to comments.Archaeologists find the largest amount of skulls at the most sacred temple of the Aztec empire
Posted on 10/06/2012 5:37:07 PM PDT by Renfield
MEXICO CITY (AP).- Mexican archaeologists said Friday they uncovered the largest number of skulls ever found in one offering at the most sacred temple of the Aztec empire dating back more than 500 years.
The finding reveals new ways the pre-Colombian civilization used skulls in rituals at Mexico City's Templo Mayor, experts said. That's where the most important Aztec ceremonies took place between 1325 until the Spanish conquest in 1521.
The 50 skulls were found at one sacrificial stone. Five were buried under the stone, and each had holes on both sides signaling they were hung on a skull rack.
Archaeologist Raul Barrera of Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History said the other 45 skulls appeared to have just been dumped on top of the stone.
The team of archeologists unearthed the skulls and jaw bones in August. They stumbled on them as they were renovating a section of the Templo Mayor in the heart of Mexico City.
Barrera said they believe the 45 skulls were those of women and men between 20 and 35 years old and could have been dug up from other sites and reburied.
Last August, the Mexican government announced experts had found an unprecedented human burial at another spot in the same temple in which the skeleton of a young woman, possibly sacrificed personifying a goddess, was surrounded by piles of nearly 1,800 bones. Another unusual finding this summer was a "sacred tree," which looks like a battered oak trunk emerging from a well and which experts say was brought from a mountain region for a ritual.
The skulls shown to the media Friday were in good condition but cracked on each side of the head, possibly because of the wooden stake that ran through them so they could be placed in a skull rack.
Barrera said the key in the discovery was the sacrificial rock, which looks like a gray headstone.
"Underneath the sacrificial stone, we found an offering of five skulls. These skulls were pierced with a stick," he said. "These are very important findings."
University of Florida archaeologist Susan Gillespie, who was not involved in the excavation, said it caught her attention that the skulls that had been on the rack, called tzompantli, were buried separately.
"It provides rather novel information on the use and reuse of skulls for ritual events at the Templo Mayor," Gillespie said in an email.
Also, the common belief about Aztec sacrificial stones is that a person being sacrificed was killed by cutting open the chest and pulling out the heart.
"We normally associate (it) with heart removal rather than decapitation," she said. "It ultimately gives us a better understanding of how the Aztecs used the human body in various ways in their ritual practices.
The archaeologists believe the 45 skulls were those of women and men between 20 and 35 years old and could have been dug up from other sites and reburied. Photo: DMC INAH H. Montano.
Isn’t that special! If anyone wants to read first hand evil of huge proportions, just read “ The Conquest of Mexico “
by Prescott. Those Aztec’s were incredibly evil and possessed by some awful beliefs which simply satisfied their lust for blood.
Didn’t Mel Gibson’s “Apocalypto” deal with some of this on film?
All cultures are equal.
Some things never change: http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=mexican+cartels+decapitation&oq=mexican+cartels+decapitation&gs_l=hp.3..0j0i30l3.1607.7341.0.75126.96.36.199.0.0.0.2380.4368.0j4j4j1j9-1.10.0.les%3Bcpsugrpq2..0.0...1.1.hLOPCMJVPLg&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=c67092ad9b82b728&biw=1024&bih=381
re: “”It provides rather novel information on the use and reuse of skulls for ritual events at the Templo Mayor,” Gillespie said in an email. Also, the common belief about Aztec sacrificial stones is that a person being sacrificed was killed by cutting open the chest and pulling out the heart - “We normally associate (it) with heart removal rather than decapitation,” she said. “It ultimately gives us a better understanding of how the Aztecs used the human body in various ways in their ritual practices.”
Maybe it’s just me, but this particular archeologist’s way of describing these horrific practices is rather cold and antisceptic to me. She’s talking about this as though it was just some fascinating medical procedure.
“Didnt Mel Gibsons Apocalypto deal with some of this on film?”
Wasn’t that the movie that had subtitles in English? I didn’t see it, but I don’t do subtitles. If I have to read, I’ll read a book! A movie is a visual experience, and subtitles distract completely from the cinematography. I much prefer dubbing, even poor dubbing, then being forced to take my eyes from the film to read subtitles! I watched “Das Boot” in both versions, and vastly preferred the dubbed version.
That hole in the skull looks like it must have been painful for a second.
To a small degree, but not much really. The conquistadors were arriving and the natives how were free ran from the ships also, which was sort of casting the typical...Spaniards were the slaughters view. Far from reality. Seemed that way to me, although I saw the movie quite some time ago. If a real authentic movie was made about Cortex and his 900 men who took on millions of crazed Aztec warriors, it would surpass anything ever made. The odds were huge against them, but he and his men had a real moral fight and outrage and that drove them. They got some spoils of gold and such also, but the battles and trials were far far more testing and hard than any amount of gold that made that the main motivation. But yes, the actual savage murders of the Indians was portrayed pretty good by Gibson.
re: “From an archeologist’s standpoint that’s exactly what it is. No point in getting emotional about it. That’s what ruined climatology.”
I totally understand professionalism and the need for a sense of detachment in order to function as a professional, but we are not talking about climate, we’re talking about human beings.
I’ve read similar descriptions by Nazi “doctors” of their “medical procedures” done on people (adults and children) for experimental purposes. The sense you pick up from these descriptions is that these human beings were merely “subjects” with no names, no moral value, no humanity - just “things”.
As I said, it’s just my perception. Not saying it is the right perception or that anyone else must agree with me.
The Thirty Years War saw fighting between Catholics and Protestants resulting in close to 11 million deaths. And then you had the Second Thirty Years War (a.k.a WW-1 and WW-2). From hindsight, Christian Europe was a killing field for almost all of its entire history, with death tolls in the millions occurring frequently, if not often. The post-1945 situation there up to today is probably the most peaceful period Europe has ever known.
The Thirty Years War (1618-48)
‘Took place until the Spanish.’ Those Spanish/ Catholics really ruined a great civilization/ not. Must remember to fly Columbus’s flag on Monday.
Rusty, I’m with you. It was a description of evil without any recognition of it. Actually very disgusting.
The Aztecs were very evil people who practiced human sacrafice, cannibalism and infant sacrafice to their gods.
La Raza, coming soon to an American state near you.
Actually IIRC there wasn’t ANY dialog other than grunting, huffing, and screaming in pain. Purely visual.