Archaeology Tomb of headless bodies at Mexican pyramid

Discussion in 'Archaeology' started by black hawk, Dec 3, 2004.

  1. black hawk

    black hawk Premium Member

    The tomb at Teotihuacan, the first major city built in the Americas, whose origins are one of history's great mysteries, also held the bound carcasses of eagles, dogs and other animals.

    "It is hard to believe that the ritual consisted of clean, symbolic performances -- it is most likely that the ceremony created a horrible scene of bloodshed with sacrificed people and animals," said Saburo Sugiyama, one of the scientists leading the ongoing dig.

    "Whether the victims and animals were killed at the site or a nearby place, this foundation ritual must have been one of the most terrifying acts recorded archeologically in Mesoamerica."

    Of the 12 human bodies found, 10 were decapitated and then tossed, rather than arranged, on one side of the burial site. The two other bodies were richly ornamented with beads and a necklace made of imitation human jaws.

    The Aztecs came across Teotihuacan's towering stone pyramids in about 1500 A.D., centuries after the city was torched and abandoned. It is not known what language its inhabitants spoke, but the Aztecs named it "The Place Where Men Become Gods," believing it was a divine site.

    A major tourist site, it lies about 35 miles (56 km) northeast of Mexico City.

    After 200 years of excavations, archeologists are still largely in the dark about the origins of the city, which is believed to have housed 200,000 people at its peak in 500 A.D. -- rivaling Shakespeare's London, but a millennium earlier.

    Sugiyama said the nearly complete excavation indicates the Pyramid of the Moon was significant to its builders as a site for celebrating state power through ceremony and sacrifice.

    The sacrifices were carried out during the expansion of one of the city's major monuments, suggesting the government wanted to symbolize growing sacred political power.

    "Contrary to some past interpretation, militarism was apparently central to the city's culture," the excavation team said in a statement.

    The master-planned city-state collapsed around 700 A.D., an event as mysterious as its formation.

    It was the site of a modern-day controversy earlier this year when protesters fought and lost a battle to keep the Mexican unit of retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. from building a new store a half-mile (800 meters) away.
  2. Zsandmann

    Zsandmann Premium Member

    I presume this is an article from somewhere, can you give us a link.
  3. TrueBlue5

    TrueBlue5 New Member

    The tomb at Teotihuacan

    The finding of the human sacrifices at the Pyramid of the Moon as reported by Black Hawk provides further proof of the bloody history of the Aztecs and Mayans in Mesoamerica.

    I accompanied an expedition to Teotihuacan near Mexico City and also the ancient Mayan city of Chechen Itza on the Yucatan peninsula. The Mayans established elaborate structures for their sacrifices - a carved stone jaguar, for example, where the priests carved out hearts for offerings to Quetzecoatl.

    Near the City's principal pyramid and observatory lies a sacrificial pool where virgins were thrown to their deaths. In the central city area stands an ancient stadium where teams played a game similar to soccer. The losing team's captain was beheaded and the team members became slaves.

    Although the Mayans were advanced in astronomy, calendaring, agriculture and architectural sciences, I find it amazing that so many people today admire their civilizaiton.

  4. Bleys

    Bleys Phoenix Takes Flight Staff Member


    I think you can admire a society's accomplishments while still acknowledging their cruelty. The Romans, Greeks, Chinese, Japanese, etc. all had various practices that by today's standards were cruel and vicious.

    I think that's one of the problems with history - a tendency of employing our own sense of morality or right and wrong when making judgements.

    I would love to spend a month or two in Mexico visiting these sites.

  5. Bloodlust

    Bloodlust New Member

    mexico has some nice ruins :clwndnc: