A vast array of skulls buried beneath the streets of modern Mexico City are revealing the grisly details of Aztec human sacrifice.
The area was once the epicenter of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan – a gruesome site where human sacrifices were performed to honor the gods. Captives were taken to the city’s Templo Mayor, or great temple, where priests removed their still-beating hearts, Science reports.
The bodies were then decapitated and priests removed the skin and muscle from the corpses’ heads. Large holes were then carved into the sides of the skulls and placed onto a large wooden pole prior to being placed in the tzompantli, a huge rack of skulls in the front of the temple. Two towers of mortared skulls flanked the rack.
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