Aztec Human Skull Rack Found in Mexico City

New Evidence Found of Gruesome Aztec Rituals

The Aztecs had a powerful reign over what is currently central Mexico, and the way they kept and showed off their power was particularly brutal. There’s yet to be any evidence against that, and the evidence that does pop up continues to show a bloodthirsty need for dominance on their part. The newest find about the Aztecs by archaeologists is a human skull rack. Although this is not the first reputed Aztec human skull rack, this latest one – found in Mexico City at the Templo Mayor Aztec ruin site – may be the most outlandish display of power we’ve seen from the Aztecs.

These Racks Were Often Used as a Scare Tactic

An Aztec human skull rack was also referred to as a tzompantli. It would make sense that a human skull rack would be found where the Templo Mayor once stood, as it was used not only for religious ceremonies, but for human sacrifices. With humans being sacrificed, a tzompantli would be there to display the heads of those who were sacrificed, as well as other enemies of the Aztec people. By having a case of their enemies’ skulls, Aztec leaders could intimidate their enemies who entered the temple.

Skulls Weren’t Only Found in the Rack

It’s only fitting that a human skull rack would contain skulls, especially a rack of its size – though it has yet to be entirely unearthed, it is suspected to be 112 feet long and 40 feet wide. But, in an unsettling turn of events, this particular human skull rack also seems to have been partially composed of human skulls as well. According to Raul Berrera, one of the archaeologists, “So far we have found 35 skulls, but there must be many more in underlying layers.” Rows of skulls were mortared together into a circle to make part of the platform.

Archaeologists Hope This Can Help Teach More About City

This massive human skull rack in the Templo Mayor is a big find. The hope is that, in finding this, archaeologists can do a better job mapping out Tenochtitlan, the lost city that the Aztecs conquered hundreds of years ago, that is today Mexico City. There’s still a lot to be learned about the Aztecs as archaeologists continue to unearth the tzompantli.