The area near the Guatemalan border where the find was made is plagued by violent gangs of smugglers, so an investigation was quickly launched to find out how the remains ended up there
Image: INAH/AFP via Getty Images)
A pile of 150 skulls that sparked a murder investigation after their discovery in a Mexican cave were actually the remains of women sacrificed to Aztec gods thousands of years ago.
The historic find was made near the Guatemalan border in an area plagued by violent gangs of smugglers.
Investigators believed the decapitated skulls to be the unfortunate victims of unscrupulous local gangsters and launched an investigation to uncover how the remains got there Daily Star reports.
After 10 years of intense testing, experts learned that the women were not murder victims, but human sacrifices, beheaded in rituals to the Aztec gods thousands of years ago.
A spokesman for INAH, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, said: “Believing they were looking at a crime scene, investigators collected the bones and began examining them in Tuxtla Gutierrez,” the state capital.
Experts said the unfortunate victims were beheaded and their skulls displayed in a trophy stand known as a ‘tzompantli’.
They are believed to have been killed between AD 900 and 1200.
What puzzled investigators was that pre-Hispanic skull piles usually feature a hole punched through each side of the skull and were found in plazas, not caves.
Among the victims of this latest find were more women than men, none of whom had teeth.
After the find, archaeologist Javier Montes de Paz said people should probably call archaeologists, not the police.
“If people find something that might have an archaeological context, don’t touch it and notify local authorities or INAH directly,” he said.
In 2017, archaeologists found a staggering 650 lime-encrusted skulls at the Templo Mayor, one of the main temples in the Atzec capital of Tenochtitlan, which later became Mexico City.
They also found thousands of skull fragments locked in the same central building.
A few years later, Mexican archaeologists found the remains of over 100 Aztec men, women, and children believed to have been sacrificed to the gods.
The grisly finds were discovered during the restoration of a building in Mexico City and are said to be part of a five-meter-long “skull rack” at a shrine to the Aztec god of the sun, war and human sacrifice.
Hundreds of human heads have previously been unearthed at the site, first uncovered three years ago.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/pile-150-female-skulls-found-26846022 A pile of 150 female skulls found in a cave were human sacrifices decapitated in a ritual - World News