What looks like a murder investigation has been discovered in a Mexican cave near the Guatemalan border in an area plagued by violent smuggling gangs. The historic find was believed to be the remains of human sacrifices to Aztec gods thousands of years ago.
Mexican police were stunned to find a pile of 150 skulls of decapitated women at a “decapitation” crime scene, the Daily Star reported.
According to Mirror, the decapitated skulls were first believed to be unfortunate victims of ruthless local gangsters, but after 10 years of scrutiny, it has been learned that the women had been subjected to a beheading ritual to Aztec gods there. millennia ago.
“Believing they were looking at a crime scene, investigators recovered the bones and began examining them in Tuxtla Gutierrez,” said a spokesperson for INAH, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and story.
In Aztec times, skulls were stacked and displayed in a trophy rack called a “tzompantli”. The victims are believed to have been killed between 900 and 1200 CE.
A modern burial place
Archaeologist Javier Montes de Paz said the “modern” wake should be studied by archaeologists, not cops. “When people find something that could be in an archaeological context, do not touch it and inform the local authorities or the INAH directly,” he said.
What seems to puzzle investigators is that piles of pre-Hispanic skulls usually show a hole drilled into each side of the skull and are found in plazas and not in caves. None of the latest discoveries also had teeth.
In 2017, archaeologists discovered a skull rack of more than 600 heads, stacked in a line at the Templo Mayor, one of the main temples in the Atzec capital Tenochtitlan, what we now know as Mexico City. As Reuters reported in 2017, the structure’s skulls belonged to defeated male warriors, but recent analysis suggests some belonged to women and children.
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“Gifts to the Gods”
Although experts cannot determine exactly who the individuals are, “we do know that they were all sacred, that is, they were made into gifts for the gods or even personifications of the deities they themselves, for which they were dressed and treated as such,” archaeologist Barrera Rodríguez said in an INAH statement.
Stuck together in lime, the Aztecs display skulls in smaller shelves around Tenochtitlán before transferring them to the larger structure at Huey Tzompantli, forming a large inner circle “which rises and widens in succession of rings,” wrote J. Weston Phippen for the Atlantic.
To modern eyes, the tower may seem horribly strange, but to Mesoamericans, “ritual sacrifice” is a means of keeping the gods alive and preventing the destruction of the universe.
“This vision, incomprehensible to our belief system, makes the Huey Tzompantli a building of life rather than death,” INAH said in a statement.
According to ancient writings, Spanish invaders and their native allies destroyed parts of the towers in the 1500s, scattering the fragments of the structures across the area. The first macabre monument discovered dates back to 2015.
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