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More Than 100 Skulls Discovered Beneath Mexico City During New Dig

More Than 100 Skulls Discovered Beneath Mexico City During New Dig

The remains of 119 people were found beneath the country's capital

More than 100 skulls have been discovered beneath Mexico City during an archaeological dig.

The grizzly find was made in what was the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, with the remains of 119 people, including women and children, excavated.

According to experts at the National Anthropology and History Institute, the skulls are believed to be the remains of captured enemy warriors, with others thought to be those who were killed in ritual sacrifices to the gods.

Speaking about the discovery, archaeologist Barrera Rodriguez said: "Although we cannot determine how many of these individuals were warriors, perhaps some were captives set aside for sacrificial ceremonies."

The tower of skulls, which was found in the area of the Templo Mayor, one of the main temples in the city, measures 4.7 metres (15.4 feet) in diameter and dates back to the 15th century.

It was found about 10ft (3.5 metres) below street level.

The remains of 119 men, women, and children were found.
Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia

It is the most recent discovery made on the site, with the remains of 650 human heads having previously been uncovered there back in 2017.

They form part of the 'Huei Tzompantli', an enormous collection of skulls that was arranged in order to scare Hernan Cortes and his band of Spanish conquistadores when they captured the city.

The skulls were placed on poles and arranged in a circle, with mortar used to fill the gaps. Experts are unsure what, if anything, would have been in the middle of the tower.

In a statement, Culture Minister Alejandra Frausto said it was extremely impressive.

She said: "At every step, the Templo Mayor continues to surprise us.

"The Huei Tzompantli is, without a doubt, one of the most impressive archaeological finds in our country in recent years."

This comes after the remains of a rich man and a slave killed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius 2,000 years ago have been discovered in Pompeii, Italy.

The ancient Roman city, near Naples, was destroyed by the volcanic eruption in AD 79, and our understanding of what took place is still being explained by discoveries such as this.

The bodies were unearthed from a 6.5ft layer of grey ash in the underground chamber of a large villa.

Archaeologists have deduced that one victim was aged between 18 and 23 and likely to have been a slave, as he was found to have a number of crushed vertebrae, indicative of hard labour.

The other is estimated to have been between 30 and 40 and affluent, as traces of a woollen cloak were found beneath his neck.

Massimo Osanna, Director of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, said: "These two victims were perhaps seeking refuge in the cryptoporticus, where instead they are swept away by the pyroclastic current at nine in the morning."

Featured Image Credit: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia

Topics: History, Spain, Mexico