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Scientists Amazed by Mass Grave in Field

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150 skulls puzzle archeologists: why sacrifice far away from temple?

archeologists, grave, mass, skulls, temple

*Skulls from another excavation. Official pictures of the findings discussed here are not released.

It’s a weird discovery in many ways. The skulls have very different forms, they lay in a seemingly insignificant location, and some of them have fingers in their eyes. What happened here?

In 2007 archaeologist Christopher Morehart was doing a walking survey, studying human landscape uses in the northern part of Mexico Valley. When he saw that looters had turned up human bones, he started a professional excavation that revealed between 150 and 200 adult skulls.

They were mostly put in rows, facing east, towards the rising sun. People between the Teotihuacan and the Aztec era must have put them there around 750 AD. It’s an unusual finding since sacrifices like this are often located inside pyramids or temples.

The skulls all belonged to males from various populations (some of them had deformed their skulls, a cultural practice) and were cut closer to the base of the skull than is the case in other such findings. Some of them also had fingerbones inserted into the eye sockets.

Researchers do not yet have explanations for all these archeological surprises. The discovery may therefore lead to new scientific views on ancient populations.

Photo: The history blog
Source: Huffington post, Daily Mail

Morehart, C., Peñaloza, A., Sánchez, C., de Tapia, E., & Morales, E. (2012). Human Sacrifice During the Epiclassic Period in the Northern Basin of Mexico Latin American Antiquity, 23 (4), 426-448 DOI: 10.7183/1045-6635.23.4.426

mass grave in mexico, skull mexico

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