Sunday, July 9, 2017

Aztec "Skull tower"

From Smithsonian:
The tzompantli were ceremonial racks that display severed heads of victims in Mesoamerica, the Associated Press reports. While it was previously believed that such a tower would only include the skulls or male warriors conquered in battle, the archaeologists uncovered skulls of women and children as well during the excavation, challenging what the researchers know about these skull racks, Reuters reports.

The tower in question is suspected to be part of the Huey Tzompantli, which was located on the corner of the chapel of Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec god of sun, war and human sacrifice. According to accounts by Spanish conquistadors Bernal Diaz del Castillo and Andrés de Tapia​—who both viewed the Huey Tzompantli in the early 16th century, upon on their arrival in Tenochtitlan, the capital city of the Aztecs, now Mexico City—the Huey Tzompantli was massive. Both claimed the structure could have contained over 100,000 skulls, though contemporary scholars believe that count was significantly exaggerated. (Read more.)

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