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Spanish conquistadors visiting Tenochtitlan in the 1500s told vivid tales of the thousands of human skulls on display at the Aztec temples. They presumed that these skulls belonged to enemies of the Aztecs killed in war, but a new discovery at the city’s ruins is calling that theory into question. Scientists in present-day Mexico City unearthed a tower of skulls dating back 500 years, which contained many smaller skulls believed to have belonged to women and children, who likely would not have been soldiers killed in war. Scientists are now re-evaluating what they know about Aztec sacrifices.

Read more about these Aztec skulls.

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