A tower of human skulls exhumed underneath the heart of Mexico City has offered new insights about the way of life in the Aztec Empire after skulls of women and children surfaced among the hundreds embedded in the forbidding structure.
Archeologists have discovered more than 650 skulls covered in lime and a great many sections in the round and hollow structure close to the site of the Templo Mayor, one of the primary sanctuaries in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, which later became Mexico City.
The tower is believed to form part of the Huey Tzompantli, a huge exhibit of skulls that struck dread into the Spanish conquistadores when they captured the city under Hernan Cortes, and mentioned the structure in contemporary accounts.
The Aztecs and other Mesoamerican people groups performed ritualistic human sacrifices as offerings to the sun.
The Templo Mayor (Spanish for ‘Great Temple’) was one of the principle temples of the Aztecs in their capital cityof Tenochtitlan, which is currently Mexico City. Its design style has a place with the late Postclassical time of Mesoamerica.
It is believed that the priest in ancient times would snatch the heart and detach it, still breathing. It would then be set in a bowl held by a statue of the honored god, and the body tossed down the temple’s stairs landing at the terrace at the base of the pyramid.
For the re-sanctification of the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan of in 1487, the Aztecs reported that they sacrificed around 80,400 captives over the span of four days. Historians believe that figure might be a misrepresentation.