Dozens of skulls have been found by archaeologists digging near an Aztec temple close to Mexico City.
The 119 skulls made up part of a tower of heads of sacrificed humans kept as a trophy by the pre-Columbian civilisation, experts have said.
The rack of skulls were found as part of five-year dig under old buildings near the city’s Templo Mayor Aztec ruins, which has so far found a total of 603 skulls.
It is thought they date to between 1486 and 1502.
The tower was found about 10ft (3.5 metres) below the level of the street.
Among them were the skulls of women and children.
Archaeologists say Aztec officials saw the huge pile of victims’ heads as a sign of the power and prestige.
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Image: Part of an Aztec tower of human skulls
Alejandra Frausto, Mexico City’s culture secretary, said: “It is an important testament to the power and greatness achieved by Mexico-Tenochtitlan.”
Racks of skulls in pre-Hispanic Mexico were called “tzompantli,” and were made up of heads severed from sacrificed victims that were then placed on wooden poles pushed through the sides of the skull.
Paintings and written descriptions from the early colonial period detailed such racks, but the Mexico City discovery was different to others.
The skulls were arranged in a circle-like shape, on top of one another and with the gaps filled with mortar.
They were placed looking inward toward the centre of the circle around a seemingly empty space in the middle. Experts say they don’t know what, if anything, was at the centre.
The severed heads may have displayed on racks soon after death, and once the flesh had rotted off, the mortar may have been put in place.
The dig has been carried out underneath a number of buildings, some of which are considered historically important.
Source : Sky News