Mass Grave May Be Aztec Resistance Fighters

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Mass Grave May Be Aztec Resistance Fighters

Post  ZEUS10 on Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:25 pm

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Archaeologists digging in a ruined pyramid in downtown Mexico City said Tuesday they found a mass grave that may hold the skeletal remains of the Aztec holdouts who fought conquistador Hernan Cortes.

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Archeologists work among remains found in a ruined pyramid in Tlateloco neighborhood in Mexico City, Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009. Archeologists digging in a ruined pyramid in downtown Mexico City found a mass grave that may hold the skeletal remains of the last holdouts among the Aztecs who fought the Spanish conquerors under Cortes.

The unusual burial holds the carefully arrayed skeletons of at least 49 adult Indians who were buried in the remains of a pyramid razed by the Spaniards during the 1521 conquest of the Aztec capital.

The pyramid complex, in the city's Tlatelolco square, was the site of the last Indian resistance to the Spaniards during the months long battle for the city.

Archaeologist Salvador Guilliem, the leader of the excavation for Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History, said the Indians might have been killed during Cortes' war or during one of the uprisings that continued after the conquest.
Mechanical engineer Roberto Velazquez has dedicated his life to replicating the sounds of pre-Columbian humans by producing hundreds of replicas of whistles, flutes and other wind instruments found in the ruins of Mexico.

Guilliem said many burials have been found at the site with the remains of Indians who died during epidemics that swept the Aztec capital in the years after the conquest and killed off much of the Indian population.
But those burials were mostly hurried, haphazard affairs in which remains were jumbled together in pits regardless of age or gender.
The burial reported Tuesday is different. The dead had many of the characteristics of warriors: All but four were young men, most were tall and several showed broken bones that had mended.
The men also were carefully buried Christian-style, lying on their backs with arms crossed over their chests, though many appear to have been wrapped up in large maguey cactus leaves, rather than placed in European coffins.

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