April 22, 2008

The Tzompantli (meaning "Wall of Skulls" in Aztek)





Tzompantli is an Aztek word meaning "Wall of Skulls." This is just one of the amazing things I saw while visiting Chichen Itza this week. The Tzompantli of Chichen Itza served for the conservation of the skulls of the victims that had been sacrificed to the gods. It is a rectangular platform measuring 65.5 yards by 13 yards with steps added at the eastern side.
When a sacrificial victim's head was cut off, it was impaled on a pole and displayed in a tidy row with others. Also carved into the stone are pictures of eagles tearing hearts from human victims. The word Tzompantli is not Mayan but comes from central Mexico.
(words taken from book picked up at Chichen Itza and Frommers Web site)

post by dan

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