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Skull collectors

The tzompantli, or skull rack, was always something of a legend, described by a Spanish soldier in his memoirs of the invasion of the Aztec lands under the Conquistador Hernan Cortez in the 16th century. Supposedly a wooden rack on which the skulls of humans were threaded, like an abacus, few of them have actually been found.

Now an archeological dig in Mexico City has unearthed a section of the Huey Tzompantli complex, with more than 650 skulls. The tower measured six metres in diameter. Each of its skulls was dipped in lime and then placed like bricks in the tower’s walls.