The Aztecs Built It Out Of Human Skulls And Archeologists Are Starting To Uncover Its Mysteries

The Aztecs knew there was nothing like a tower of skulls to strike fear in the hearts of your enemies.

Located in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, current day Mexico City, the Huitzilopochtli — a temple honoring the Aztec god of the sun, war, and human sacrifice — featured an impressive structure made from human skulls. Huey Tzompantli, a rack of skulls nearly 200 feet in diameter, was built for decorative purposes but it also served another, obvious, purpose: to intimidate potential enemies. When Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 16th century, they documented at least 136,000 skulls in the Huey Tzompantli, which were likely gathered from vanquished foes of the Aztecs — or so they thought.

Until recently, the Aztec’s tower of skulls was considered a rumor. Now, archaeologists are a few steps closer to figuring out the truth.


So far, archaeologists have unearthed more than 650 skulls from the Huey Tzompantli, but they’ve noticed an unsettling trend. Among the skulls of men, which they believed were dead warriors, there were also the skulls of both women and children, meaning these were also put on display for people to see. Biological anthropologist Rodrigo Bolanos told Reuters, “We were expecting just men, obviously young men, as warriors would be, and the thing about the women and children is that you’d think they wouldn’t be going to war.” For Bolanos, this discovery has left them with more questions than answers. “Something is happening that we have no record of,” Bolanos added, “and this is really new, a first in the Huey Tzompantli.”

The Atlantic reports that to date, only a quarter of the entire structure has been unearthed. Scientists are expecting to discover more skulls as the structure is unearthed.

READ: You’ll Never Look At Chocolate The Same Once You Find Out Its Brutal History

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Online Users Are Rallying Behind A First Grader Who Wrote the Most Tearjerking Response

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Online Users Are Rallying Behind A First Grader Who Wrote the Most Tearjerking Response

Ruth Espiricueta / Facebook

The tradition of children writing a letter to Santa Claus for Christmas, for most of us, brings back memories of beloved toys, bicycles, and even family pets. In a recent post on Facebook, a teacher reminds us that not everyone has wish lists that are so untroubled.

Ruth Espiricueta posted the letter written by a student in her class who asked Santa for food and blankets for Christmas.

CREDIT: Ruth Espiricueta / Facebook

The first grade teacher at Monte Cristo Elementary School in Edinburg, Texas, had given her students a lesson about wanting versus needing. After the lesson she instructed her students to write a letter to Santa Claus asking for something that fulfilled both. After class, Espircueta reviewed the letters and was struck by one written by a 7-year-old girl in her class. In her her note, the student wrote: “I have [been] good this day. This Christmas I would like a ball and a food. I need a blanket.”

According to People, the little girl’s mother, Maria Isabel Cortez, told KRGV that her daughter had requested the ball as a gift for her brother.

“She wrote the card thinking about her brother. She said she wanted the ball to play with him, food to have food at the house, and a blanket because the house is too cold,” Cortez said.

According to the 2016 U.S. Census, nearly twenty-two percent of children in Texas live in poverty.

The teacher’s student wasn’t alone in her request for similar basic needs.

“Unfortunately, there are other students that as part of their needs they included food, towels, blankets, pillows, bed, clothes, shoes, and a stove,” Espiricueta told ABC News. “Some of my students were not even excited about Christmas because they know that their parents cannot afford to buy a Christmas tree or gifts for them.”

Saddened to see a student of hers go hungry, Espiricueta shared the letter to her Facebook page last week in hopes that others would help her students and their families. With the post came an outpour of donation offers addressed to the little girl and the students at her school.

In response to the letter, the school started a donation drive.

Thank you to everyone that has been donating to our school. Our students will be able to stay warm during these cold…

Posted by Ruth Espiricueta on Friday, December 15, 2017

They had a goal of collecting 724 blankets to distribute to students. In a message posted to her Facebook account over the weekend the school teacher thanked donators for helping the school exceed their initial goal.

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