A group of archaeologists have unearthed the gruesome evidence of brutal rituals carried out by the Aztecs. The gruesome scene that they excavated could be the largest ever ceremonial skull rack built by the Aztecs more than 500 years ago.
The ceremonial skull rack was found on the western side of what once used to be the Templo Mayor complex. This complex is located in Tenochtitlan in the modern Mexico City. The partially unearthed skull rack’s construction date is said to go back to the years 1485 and 1502. The skull rack may have measured up to thirty-four metres long and roughly twelve metres wide.
The skulls that are located in the skull rack mostly belonged to young male adults, however several of the unearthed skulls also belonged to women and children. Many of the unearthed skulls also featured holes on either sides, these holes suggested that the skulls belonged to a Tzompantli. This was a rack on which the skulls of sacrificed people were arranged on wooden poles and displayed to the public to inspire feelings of fear and awe.
To make the scene even more horrifying, the new finding revealed that part of the platform where the head rack once stood was made of rows of skulls mortared together in a circle.
All the skulls faced inward toward the centre of the circle, although it’s unknown what was in there.
“So far we have found 35 skulls, but there must be many more in underlying layers,” archaeologist Raul Barrera said in a statement to the media.
According to Eduardo Matos Moctezuma, one of the INAH archaeologists involved in the ongoing excavation, the skulls would belong to the Huey Tzompantli, the Great Tzompantli of Tenochtitlan (modern Mexico City) which is estimated to have contained approximately 60,000 skulls.
“We believe we have found the Huey Tzompantli. Many of these skulls could be enemies of the Aztecs who were captured, killed and beheaded in a show of might,” Matos Moctezuma said in a statement to the media.