Aztec skull tower: Archaeologists unearth new sections in Mexico City

Archaeologists have excavated more sections of an extraordinary Aztec tower of human skulls under the center of Mexico City.

The National Institute of Anthropology and History said a further 119 skulls had been uncovered.

The tower was discovered in 2015 during the restoration of a building in the Mexican capital. It is believed to be part of a skull rack from the temple to the Aztec god of the sun, war and human sacrifice.

The Aztecs dominated large parts of central Mexico from the 14th to the 16th centuries. Their empire was overthrown by invaders led by the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés in 1521.

The tower’s original discovery surprised anthropologists, who had been expecting to find the skulls of young male warriors, but also unearthed the crania of women and children, raising questions about human sacrifice in the Aztec Empire.

Archaeologist Raul Barrera said, “Perhaps some were captives destined for sacrificial ceremonies.”


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