Image - Cacao Pod Vessel - K6706 © Justin Kerr FAMSI © 2007:
Ximena Chávez Balderas

Human Sacrifice and Mortuary Treatments in the Great Temple of Tenochtitlán
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Figure 1. General view of the archaeological zone of the Great Temple in México City.

Research Year:  2005
Culture:  Mexica
Chronology:  Postclassic
Location:  México City, México
Site:  Tenochtitlán

Table of Contents

The bone collection in study
Human sacrifice and mortuary treatments
Tafonomic analysis
Sacrifice by heart extraction
Decapitation: Trophy skulls, Tzompantli skulls and elaboration of skull masks
Skull masks
Population analysis based upon DNA extraction
Preliminary results
Final considerations
List of Figures
Sources Cited


The present report describes the study undertaken with the osteologic collection obtained from the Great Temple excavations in Tenochtitlán; this collection was assembled in the interval from 1978 to 2005. The financial support granted to us by FAMSI enabled the creation of four lines of research: 1) packing and preventive conservation; 2) osteobiography; 3) mortuary treatments; and 4) population genetics. Immediately, a detailed exposition of the work and its results up to the present moment will be given.

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Submitted 11/16/2006 by:
Ximena Chávez Balderas

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