Archaeologists find a “wall of skulls” in Mexico City, the remains of captives and sacrifices to the Aztec god

Mexican archaeologists have discovered in Mexico City a new fragment of the Aztec tsompantli – a wall of skulls, which was dedicated to the god of war.

The new discovery was announced after the eastern portion of the tower was excavated along with the outer façade, five years after the northeastern portion was discovered.

119 skulls belonging to prisoners of war or ritual victims were placed on a structure of wooden poles and twigs, El Pais reports. This is the eastern fragment of the tower of skulls with a diameter of 4.7 meters, dedicated to the god Huitzilopochtli. She is about 500 years old.

The 4.7 meters ( 15.4 ft) diameter tower is believed to have been built around the end of the 15th century. In total, more than 600 skulls were found at the site, which the Mexican authorities described as one of the country’s most important archaeological discoveries in recent years.

The statement noted that in Mesoamerica, human sacrifice was seen as a way to ensure the continued existence of the universe. For this reason, experts consider the tower “a building of life, not death.”

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The first tsompantli fragment was discovered five years ago. Two Belgian businessmen were about to open a chocolate museum in Mexico City. They had to abandon their plans, as skulls were found during construction. In total, including new discoveries, 603 skulls were found in this place, including three children.

“We cannot determine how many of these people were warriors. Some may have been captives destined for sacrificial ceremonies. But we know that they were all consecrated, that is, turned into gifts for the gods or even personifications of the deities themselves,” archaeologist Raul Barrera Rodriguez of the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), said.

The tunnel was built during the reign of Emperor Montezuma I and is associated with the god of water and fertility – Tlaloc, archaeologists assure.

Representatives of the Mexican Institute of Anthropology and History noted that the wall was decorated with several cave paintings and statues, which are considered “of great archaeological value in the city of Ecatepec de Morelos in the central state of Mexico.”11 carvings were found near the wall, as well as what was once a wooden gate. 

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Other finds include artifacts from glass, porcelain, majolica, in addition to the remains of statues. The tunnel with mysterious bas-reliefs was part of a dam built by the Aztecs; later it was included in the drainage system built by the Spaniards in the 17th century.


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