History

MEXICO CITY – An ancient tower of human skulls has been unearthed beneath Mexico City – a discovery that researchers say raises fresh questions about the culture of sacrifice in the Aztec empire.


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Archaeologists unearthed the 676 skulls embedded in a tower near the site of the Templo Mayor, one of the main temples in Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital that would later become Mexico City.

What makes the grisly discovery unique, however, is that the tower includes the skulls of women and children.

“We were expecting just men, obviously young men, as warriors would be, and the thing about the women and children is that you’d think they wouldn’t be going to war,” Rodrigo Bolanos, a biological anthropologist investigating the find, told media.

The tower thought to be part of the ‘Huey Tzompantli’, a massive array of severed heads intended to warn off the invading conquistadors who eventually brought about the fall of the Aztec Empire in the 16th century.