Thursday, 2 January 2014

Mexico City dig turns up unusual Aztec offering: a dog's skull

MEXICO CITY — Archaeologists announced Tuesday that excavations for a Mexico City subway extension have turned up what appears to be an unusual Aztec offering: a dog's skull with holes that indicate it was displayed on a ritual skull rack normally reserved for human sacrifice victims.

Excavators also found a woman's skull and two men's skulls with similar perforations around the temple, which allowed them to be mounted on a public display rack known as a tzompantli.

The find dates to between 1350 and 1521, and is the first time a dog's skull has been found along with a skull rack, according to Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History. The skull racks usually displayed the severed heads of captured warriors from rival groups, who were sacrificed as an offering to the gods. Few of them have actually been excavated.

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