Five brown fossil-like objects on a light background, each with a colored dot.

SHOCKING MAYAN SACRIFICES UNVEILED: INFANT AND TWIN VICTIMS FOUND

A team of international researchers and the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have discovered evidence of ritualistic sacrifices of infants, specifically male children, at the ancient Mayan city of Chichén Itzá. The team also confirmed the sacrifice of twins, indicating that the victims often had familial connections.

The research was carried out at the MPI-EVA Archaeogenetics Laboratory, where scientists focused on the remains of 64 infants. These skeletal remains were initially found in 1967 in an underground chamber located 300 meters northeast of the Sacred Cenote of Chichén Itzá. It's believed that this naturally formed space was used as a chultun, a Mayan water storage system, and was later expanded to connect to a small cave. From the ossuary, which contained over a hundred skeletons, 64 individuals were selected based on their skulls, specifically portions of their left temporal bones.

Through genetic data analysis, it was revealed that all the individuals in the chultun were males aged between three and six. The mass burial also included close relatives, such as siblings or cousins, and even two pairs of identical twins. Further genetic examination showed that at least a quarter of the boys were closely related. The findings suggest that the children were chosen in pairs for ritualistic activities associated with the chultun.

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These discoveries hint at a link between the sacrificial practices and the origin myths of the Popol Vuh, as twins are often seen as symbols of duality in Mayan and Mesoamerican deities and heroes. This study, published in the journal Nature, reveals for the first time the presence of twins in ancient Mayan burial contexts. The dating of the remains suggests that the chultun was used for burial purposes between the 7th and 12th centuries. However, most of the children were buried during Chichén Itzá's political peak, which spanned 200 years from 800 to 1000 AD, according to a press release from INAH.