Mexican archaeologists have found 119 skulls in an Aztec mass grave that belonged to victims of a ritual murder in Tenochtitlan. The new find is reported in a press release on Phys.org.
During a five-year excavation in the vicinity of the Templo Major temple complex, scientists have found 603 skulls, dating from 1486-1502. The remains, found three meters under a city street, belonged to women and children. The Aztecs constructed from the skulls of sacrificed people “tsompantli” – a rack of severed heads, which were pierced from the side with wooden poles. The Tsompantli was considered a symbol of prestige for the Aztec capital.
The difference between the discovered tsompantli and other similar structures is that part of the platform was built in the form of a circle, and all the skulls looked at the same point. However, scientists do not know what could be in the center of the circle.
Tenochtitlan (modern Mexico City) was founded in 1325 AD and is considered the largest city on Earth at that time with a population of up to 500 thousand people. It was destroyed by the Spanish conquistadors led by Hernan Cortez in 1521.