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THE HUMAN SKELETAL REMAINS OF THE MOON PYRAMID, TEOTIHUACAN

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 August 2007

Abstract

Beginning with Building 4, each new version of the Moon Pyramid in Teotihuacan was initiated with a major sacrificial event. These events invariably included human victims, males ranging in age from about 14 to 60 or more years (Minimum Number of Individuals (MNI) = 37). Many display cranial modification and dental decoration. In the earliest offering, Burial 2, the lone human was merely one element in a complex tableau. In subsequent sacrifices, the human victims increased in number and became a major focus of the event. There was also a growing dichotomy among them, with numbers of decapitated victims being included in the sacrifices. Skeletal elements from the pyramid fill suggest still other rituals involving human crania (MNI = 11), but the context of these is not yet clear.

Resumen

Desde la cuarta etapa constructiva de la Pirámide de la Luna, cada ampliación de este monumento mayor de Teotihuacan dio lugar a la realización de ofrendas mayores. En estos depósitos, contamos con los restos de varios individuos de sexo masculino cuya edad variaba entre 14 y 60 años. Las características bio-culturales de estos personajes sugieren que muchos de ellos eran extranjeros a la ciudad.

Fueron, en su mayoría, víctimas sacrificiales. En dos casos (Entierros 4 y 6), las víctimas fueron claramente decapitadas. En otros (Entierros 2, 3, y 6), no se pudo determinar con certeza la forma que tomó el sacrificio. Sin embargo, el carácter simultáneo del depósito y el hecho que sus integrantes tuvieron las manos juntadas en la espalda apunta hacia un ámbito sacrificial. En cuanto al Entierro 5, si los datos contextuales no son incompatibles con un tratamiento de este tipo, el carácter atípico del depósito no permite descartar otras explicaciones.

Otros aspectos indican ciertas diferencias. En el depósito más temprano, el Entierro 2, el único humano formaba parte de un dispositivo complejo en que los animales ocupaban un lugar importante. En los entierros subsecuentes, los humanos parecen ocupar un papel más importante. Notamos igualmente que varios depósitos revelan una diferenciación más o menos marcada entre los integrantes.

Finalmente, el análisis de los materiales incluidos en los rellenos de la pirámide muestra la existencia de otros rituales relacionados con cráneos humanos cuyo contexto es poco claro.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2007

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THE HUMAN SKELETAL REMAINS OF THE MOON PYRAMID, TEOTIHUACAN
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