Discovery has a tendency to cast doubt on traditional readings, that is the case with the recent discovery of a tower of human skulls in Mexico City that has cast doubt on traditional readings of Aztec history.
The investigation, which has been ongoing for the last 18 months yielded results after more than 675 skulls of men, women, and children were unearthed by archaeologists.
The tower is believed to be part of the Huey Tzompantli, a rack of bones which became the stuff of legend among Spanish conquistadores as they colonized Mexico. Their writings mentioned a tower of skulls.
Archaeologist Raul Barrera told Reuters that Andres de Tapia, a Spanish soldier who fought with Cortes in the 1521 conquest of Mexico, almost certainly recorded the structure, archaeologist Raul Barrera told Reuters. De Tapia wrote that there were thousands of skulls, and researchers believe they will find more as the excavation continues.
It’s believed that the skulls belonged to male warriors killed in inter-tribal combat before the arrival of the Spanish. The discovery of younger and female skulls has perplexed archaeologists who were expecting just men.
Rodrigo Bolanos, a biological anthropologist investigating the find pointed out that the thing about the women and children is that you'd think they wouldn't be going to war. He continued to emphasize that
something is happening that we have no record of, and this is new.
The tower is located close to the Templo Mayor, one of the main Aztec temples in their capital Tenochtitlan, which developed into Mexico City. Templo Mayor was used for human sacrifices as part of the ancient Mesoamerican religion.
The discovery was the second of its kind to be conducted in Mexico City in less than a month. Back in June, an Aztec ball game court was found nearby underneath a hotel. A whooping thirty-two neck bones were also discovered, believed to have been from players who were sacrificed.