Monday, December 06, 2004

Grisly find casts doubt on peaceful pyramid theory

The Guardian : "The ancient city-state of Teotihuacan was long thought a relatively gentle place because its art lacked the glorification of sacrifice and war so common in other Mesoamerican civilisations.

Now a team of archaeologists has gone beneath that peaceful appearance and revealed the skeletons in the city's pyramid.

The first ever excavation of the 1,900-year-old Pyramid of the Moon has uncovered the bones of a dozen adult males, 10 of them decapitated and all of them apparently offered up to the gods. Three other smaller-scale human offerings were also found in the seven-year project, which tunnelled deep into the solid stone-and-earth structure.

Though not the first sacrificial burials uncovered at the huge site just north-east of Mexico City, the skeletons in the pyramid show for the first time how central the practice was to the culture over time."