‘Tower of human skulls’ built by Aztecs found in Mexico City

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The Aztecs didn’t mess around.

A tower of human skulls dating back to the 15th century has been found near the Metropolitan Cathedral in the center of Mexico City.

119 skulls of men, women and children were found by a team of archeologists on the eastern façade of the tower that was originally discovered in 2017, according to the Guardian.

Mexico City was originally part of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan, and, according to the Guardian, the tower of skulls is thought to a part of the Huey Tzompantli, an arrangement of skulls meant to scare Spanish conquistadores, including Hernán Cortés, when they captured the city in 1521.

“The Templo Mayor continues to surprise us, and the Huey Tzompantli is without doubt one of the most impressive archaeological finds of recent years in our country,” the Mexican culture minister, Alejandra Frausto, said in a statement.

The skulls of women and children signify the use of Aztec human sacrifice and archeologist Raúl Barrera told the paper.

Parts of an Aztec tower of human skull.
Parts of an Aztec tower of human skulls.
via REUTERS

“Although we can’t say how many of these individuals were warriors, perhaps some were captives destined for sacrificial ceremonies,” he said. “We do know that they were all made sacred – turned into gifts for the gods or even personifications of deities themselves.”