About seven days ago I shared with you news about how a new Nascan skeleton shows signs of sacrifice, and this week I got some more sacrifice & archaeology to share with you. This time we’re moving up from Peru to what is now Mexico, where skeletons of two dozen children killed in an ancient mass sacrifice have been found in a tomb at a construction site in Tula, Mexico.
The chamber contained 24 skeletons of children believed to have been sacrificed between A.D. 950 and 1150, according to Luis Gamboa, an archaeologist at Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History.
All but one of the children were between 5 to 15 years of age, and they were likely killed as an offering to the Toltec rain god Tlaloc, Gamboa said.
The Toltec, a pre-Aztec civilization that thrived from the 10th to 12th centuries, had not been previously thought to have sacrificed children.
But the ritualistic placement of the skeletons, cut marks on bones, and the presence of a figurine of Tlaloc led Gamboa to conclude the children had been sacrificed to bring rain.
“To try and explain why there are 24 bodies grouped in the same place, well, the only way is to think that there was a human sacrifice,” Gamboa told the Reuters news agency.
“You can see evidence of incisions, which make us think they possibly used sharp-edged instruments to decapitate them.”
While this maybe the first signs of evidence of the ritualistic sacrifice of children for the Toltec, it is not all too much of a surprising finding because cultures during this period in Central Mexico, such as the Aztecs, also sacrificed all sorts of people ritually. The Aztecs were profoundly influenced by the Toltecs, so the existence of Toltec child sacrifice is not at all surprising, as mentioned by Robert Carmack, an anthropologist at the University of Albany. Read more here.