Skull Tower Unearthed in Mexico May Rewrite Aztec History

Nearly 500 years ago, Andres de Tapia, a Spanish soldier and member of Hernan Cortes’ conquistador party, wrote down his account of some of the things he saw while in Mexico. One site that struck fear into the hearts of de Tapia and his compatriots were towers made of thousands of human skulls. He called these structures the Huey Tzompantli, and he claimed that they were made of the heads of defeated warriors.

Such towers were meant to serve as warning to the tribesmen of what might happen to them if they stopped conquering neighboring tribes or if they themselves were ever defeated or taken in battle. The captured, defeated warriors would probably have been sacrificed to the gods first before being beheaded. The heads likely would have first been put on public display before being placed in the tower.

shawglobalnews.files.wordpress.com

Archaeologists have long assumed that the skulls would have been those of male warriors killed in tribal battles between warring Aztec clans. However, one of these skull towers has been recently uncovered, and it has thrown this assumption into question.

The skull tower that was found was comprised of at least 675 whole skulls. Fragments of many more human skulls were also unearthed. While there were many skulls belonging to men, there were also many that belonged to women and children. Since women and children were not likely to have gone to war, archaeologists are now rethinking the assumed purpose and origin of the towers.

The skulls were located in a site next to the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City, which used to be the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. This cathedral was built over one of the most important Aztec temples in history, called the Templo Mayor by historians. The newly discovered skull tower was found on one corner of the chapel of Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec god of war, the sun, and human sacrifice. This chapel formed a part of the larger Templo Mayor, which also contained chapels dedicated to other gods.

Work on the dig site is ongoing, and the base of the temple and skull rack have not yet been uncovered. Researchers believe they will uncover many more skulls before their work is through. They also hope to make further discoveries that will help them uncover the mystery of the skulls of the women and children.

Next Article
ADVERTISEMENT
  • Every Panda In The World Is Owned By China

    No matter where the panda is or in what realm of the world he is wandering, one thing they all have in common is they are actually all owned by the Chinese government. And they make quite a hefty sum of money from leasing them out every year. The panda...

    Read More
  • Switzerland Has Accidentally Invaded Liechtenstein Three Times

    You may not have heard of the small country of Lichtenstein, a tiny country in central Europe which is landlocked by Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. It is a microstate, and still has a constitutional monarchy with the Prince of Liechtenstein at the top. But that didn’t stop Switzerland accidentally invading...

    Read More
  • Prehistoric Frogs Show Us Life From 99 Million Years Ago

    Scientist and archeologists together have been able to shine a light into a lost world, finding frogs trapped in a sticky amber resin from over 99 million years ago. These frogs have been preserved in the resin and have most likely been there since the end of the Age of the Dinosaurs. [caption id="attachment_4700" align="aligncenter"...

    Read More
  • Walking Through A Door Can Cause A Loss In Memory

    It has happened to all of us, we think we know what we are looking for and suddenly you do not. As you enter the next room, you are left wondering why on earth did you walk through the door? You run upstairs to grab your phone before going out, and then when you get...

    Read More
  • When One Team Was Defending Both Nets

    When it comes to strange football matches there have been many, some point to the 31 goals Australia put passed American Samoa or the infamous AS Adema 149-0 win over SO l’Emyrne. But actually, the strangest match of football was between Barbados and Grenada during the 1994 Shell Caribbean Cup. ...

    Read More
  • Ball Lightning The Mysterious Glowing Phenomenon

    For years ball lightning has stumped scientists and caused panic all around the world. Many times it has been mistaken for UFOs and caused confusion, even causing damage to homes. And for many centuries it was a mystery, it made no sense when confronted with the norms of science. Was it something supernatural? [caption id="attachment_4691"...

    Read More
  • The Infamous Uranium Thief

    Whenever people debate about nuclear power plants, one thing comes up as a heated subject: nuclear materials are dangerous and having them in the area could mean they fall into the wrong hands. Well, that is exactly what happened in a power plant in North Carolina during the 70s, when two whole drums of enriched...

    Read More
  • Marine Snails Have The Strongest Teeth In The World

    When it comes to strong natural materials, you may think of diamonds or gold. Maybe if you are a scientist then you may think of the amazing spider silk from their webs, but you would all still be wrong. In fact, the answer may come as a big surprise: marine snail teeth are the strongest...

    Read More