A tower of human skulls, consisting of heads of women and children, sacrificed by Aztecs was discovered near Templo Mayor, one of the main temples in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, existing before Mexico City.
Archaeologists discovered over 650 skulls and thousands of fragments bound together with lime and piled up on each other in a cylindrical structure. Scientists believe that the site is part of the Huey Tzompantli, a massive array of skulls that struck fear into the Spanish conquistadores when they captured the city under Hernan Cortes.
The structure formed a tower and stood on public display on the tzompantli – a type of wooden rack or palisade, which was used for the public display of human skulls. The tower stood on the corner of the chapel of Huitzilopochtli, Aztec god of the sun, war and human sacrifice. The tower measures roughly six meters in diameter, but its base has yet to be unearthed. The scientists expected that the remains belonged mainly to young men, possibly warriors, but it turned out that the skulls belong to women and children – a group one would not consider as going to war.
The skull tower has been mentioned by Andres de Tapia, a Spanish soldier who accompanied Cortes in the 1521 conquest of Mexico. He counted tens of thousands of skulls at what became known as the Huey Tzompantli.
(after Reuters & Henry Romero)