It turns out that the skulls of the “crime scene” in Mexico date back to 900 AD 2022-04-28 04:37:57

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When Mexican police found a pile of about 150 skulls in a cave in 2012, they thought they were looking at a crime scene.

When Mexican police found a pile of about 150 skulls in a cave near the Guatemalan border, they thought they were looking at a crime scene, and transported the bones to the state capital.

The discovery in 2012 turned out to be a very cold case.

It took a decade of testing and analysis to determine that the skulls were from sacrificial victims killed between AD 900 and 1200, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) said on Wednesday.

“Believing that they were looking at a crime scene, investigators collected the bones and began examining them in Tuxtla Gutierrez,” (the capital of the state of Chiapas), according to a statement from the National Statistics Institute.

The border area around the town of Frontera Comalapa in the southern state of Chiapas has long been plagued by violence and migrant smuggling.

Pre-Hispanic skull piles in Mexico typically show a hole punched through each side of each skull, and are usually found in ceremonial arenas, not caves.

But experts said on Wednesday that victims in the cave may have been ritually decapitated and the skulls placed on a memorial shelf known as a tzumbantli.

Spanish conquistadors wrote about seeing such shelves in the 1520s, and some of the Spaniards ended up on their heads.

While they are usually suspended on wooden poles using pierced holes – a common practice among the Aztecs and other cultures – experts say cave skulls may have rested on poles, rather than on them.

Interestingly, among the victims there were more females than males, and none of them had teeth.

In light of the cave’s experience, archaeologist Javier Montes de Paz said that perhaps people should contact the archaeologists, not the police.

“When people find something that could be in an archaeological context, don’t touch it and notify local authorities or INAH directly,” he said.

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