Archaeologists have discovered remains of captive carnivores in an excavation of what was once one of the largest cities in the world.
Among the findings in the pyramid in the ancient city of Teotihuacan were puma, eagle and wolf bones and they suggested that they were probably involved in sacrificial ceremonies. They may well have eaten humans who were offered to the gods. That’s pretty fucked up…
Teotihuacan was one of the largest and most powerful urban cities in the world between the first and sixth centuries, and scientists believe that these latest discoveries push back the date that humans first began to use carnivores to establish their place on the social ladders some 1,000 years.
After inspection of the bones by researchers, they realised the position of the discovered animals, combined with depictions of pumas and wolves dressed in military regalia while devouring human hearts pointed towards them being used to eat humans.
Authors of the study also found bone breaks and found displayed markings which probably meant the animals were subject to brutal treatment by their human captors.
The latest findings – described in the journal PLOS ONE – are thought to date back to between 150 and 350 AD, and suggests that the domestication of animals was 1,000 years earlier then previously thought.
In the study, authors wrote:
These results push back the antiquity of keeping captive carnivores for ritualistic purposes nearly 1000 years before the Spanish conquistadors described Moctezuma’s zoo at the Aztec capital. Mirroring these documents the results indicate a select group of carnivores at Teotihuacan may have been fed maize-eating omnivores, such as dogs and humans. Unlike historical records, the present study provides the earliest and direct archaeological evidence for this practice in Mesoamerica.
This is an incredible insight into this ancient civilization…