Subway Diggers Find Weird Sacrifice in Mexico
Dog was on Aztec skull rack alongside humans
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2014 11:32 AM CST
The skeleton of a person lies next to an incense holder after it was found during excavations for Line 12 of Mexico City's subway/   (AP Photo/INAH)

(Newser) – Digging deep under a city as ancient as Mexico City is bound to turn up surprises, and archaeologists have found one that changes their understanding of Aztec human sacrifice. Excavations for an extension of the city's subway system turned up the remains of numerous sacrifices, including the skull of a dog with perforations that suggest it was displayed on a rack usually used to show off the severed heads of captured warriors, the AP reports.

The skulls of two men and, unusually, a woman were also found with the skull rack, which is believed to date to some time between 1350 and 1521. Archaeologists say that during the Spanish conquest, horse heads were sometimes placed on sacrifice racks but not dogs. Researchers believe the dog's presence alongside human victims may have been related to beliefs that dogs accompany their owner in the underworld after death.

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Dec 1, 2015 6:09 AM CST
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Jan 2, 2014 11:02 PM CST
Read the history of the Conquest of Mexico. The Spaniards noted the lack of any domesticated animal for meat. When it came time for the Spaniards to obtain grease for the axles of the cart wheels, human corpses had to be rendered. The Aztecs fought not only the Spaniards, but also formerly conquered neighbors who allied with the Spanish against the Aztec Empire. After the heart was removed from the living sacrifice, the head cut off and thrown down the 'staircase', the blood drained in scuppers to collection pots, the corpse was flung down. The noble who held the right to the meat tax selected which arm or leg he desired. The rest of the corpse was thrown to the crowd for dressing into meat for their consumption. The three hundred some years of Spanish Rule following the conquest found the obliteration, erasure, and destruction of Indigenous history, monuments, religion, and literacy in the old languages, by the Spanish at every turn. One wonders why the Spanish felt such need for the entire time of their rule?
Jan 2, 2014 1:47 AM CST
No Dogs Allowed!