May 23, 2024
Archaeologists discover over 100 skulls at Aztec site in Mexico City

Mexico City: Aztec tower of skulls discovered by archaeologists

(CNN) — Archaeologists have uncovered a new section of a famous Aztec tower of skulls in Mexico City.

Now, archeologists said they have found an additional 119 human skulls in the Eastern side of the tower, according to a statement from the INAH. It is believed to be one of seven collections of skulls that stood in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan

A total of 484 skulls had previously been identified at the site, which archeologists say dates back to at least a period between 1486 and 1502.

The newly uncovered wall is comprised of the skulls of men, women and children who were likely killed during ritual sacrifices to the gods, according to the statement. At least three children were discovered among the skulls, identified by their smaller build and developing teeth.

Archaeologist have uncovered an additional 119 human skulls at a site in Mexico City.

Archaeologist have uncovered an additional 119 human skulls at a site in Mexico City.

Courtesy INAH

The site also indicates that the construction of the towers were part of the “cultural and identity practices” of the Aztecs, according to the INAH release.

“Although we can’t say how many of these individuals were warriors, perhaps some were captives destined for sacrificial ceremonies,” archaeologist Raul Barrera told Reuters. “We do know that they were all made sacred. Turned into gifts for the gods or even personifications of deities themselves.”

Many structures built by the Aztecs in the city of Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City, were destroyed after the city came under control of Spanish soldiers and indigenous allies in the 1500s, the release states.

As a result, many skull towers in the area were razed and scattered fragments have since been recovered by anthropology teams.

Despite their destruction, they left a lasting impression on those that witnessed them, with conquistadors Hernán Cortés and Bernal Díaz del Castillo mentioning them in writings of their conquests, INAH said.