Horrible facts about the “skull tower” in Mexico
The human sacrifices of the Aztec people seem to have been more widespread and brutal than previously thought, archaeologists have revealed.
In 2015, scientists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico (INAH) found horrific memorials filled with human skulls near the Templo Mayor site, one of the main temples in the Aztec capital, Tenocetitlan, which later became Mexico City.
Scientists now say that the “skull tower” was just a small part of a huge exhibition of skulls, known as “Huey Tsumplantly”, comparable to the size of a basketball court.
According to the new research, the prisoners were taken to Templo Mayor (the Great Temple), where the priests took their beating hearts alive before the bodies were cut off and removed.
The priests then dug large holes in the sides of the skulls, allowing them to be placed on the enormous Tzumbantli Tenoketitlan shelves of the Great Temple, a pyramid favored by two temples.
After months or years in the sun and rain, the skulls begin to decompose and lose teeth and jaws, and then the priests replace them with another and turn them into masks, to use them or add them to two towers of skulls that surround the shelves.
Archaeologists have seen that the skulls were seen by the Aztec as “seeds that ensure the continued existence of mankind” and a sign of life and regeneration, such as the first spring flowers.
Scientists have now begun studying the skulls in detail, hoping to learn more about Mexican rites and how to deal with bodies of victims after death.
Some Spanish invaders have estimated that the skull tower and its shelves contained 130,000 skulls.