Archaeologists say THOUSANDS of human sacrifices had their still-beating hearts cut out before their heads were severed and added to a monument the size of a basketball court
- Archaeologists previously found 650 skulls in Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, which became Mexico City
- New research shows find was just a small part of massive array of what was once thousands of skulls
- New details of the gory rituals have also been revealed, which include turning skulls into masks
Aztec human sacrifices were far more widespread and grisly that previously thought, archaeologists have revealed.
In 2015 archaeologists from Mexico‘s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) found a gruesome ‘trophy rack’ near the site of the Templo Mayor, one of the main temples in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, which later became Mexico City.
Now, they say the find was just the tip of the iceberg, and that the ‘skull tower’ was just a small part of a massive display of skulls known as Huey Tzompantli that was the size of a basketball court.
The new research is slowly uncovering the vast scale of the human sacrifices, performed to honor the gods.
According to the new research detailed in Science, captives were first taken to the city’s Templo Mayor, or great temple, where priests removed their still-beating hearts.
The bodies were then decapitated and priests removed the skin and muscle from the corpses’ heads.
Large holes were carved into the sides of the skulls, allowing them to be placed onto a large wooden pole.
They were then placed in Tenochtitlan’s tzompantli, an enormous rack of skulls built in front of the Templo Mayor, a pyramid with two temples on top.