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A 1,500-Year-Old Burial Consisting Of Stacked Human Bones Was Discovered In Mexico During A Sewer Construction Project, And Experts Believe The Remains Were Part Of A “Complex Funerary System”

Alonso Reyes - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purposes only

Human burials have long served as a window into the traditions, beliefs, and societal structures of ancient civilizations. From elaborate tombs to simple graves, each burial site contains a wealth of information that helps archaeologists piece together the mysteries of the past.

The treatment of the dead, including burial rites, grave goods, and monuments erected in their honor, reflects cultural attitudes toward death and the departed.

By analyzing burials and the artifacts that accompany them, important clues can be detected, pointing to the complexities of human behaviors throughout history.

In Mexico, an ancient burial consisting of stacked human bones was uncovered. The pre-Hispanic remains were found during a construction project for a sewer system at Pozo de Ibarra in the western Mexican state of Nayarit. Experts believe they were part of a “complex funerary system.”

According to Claudia Servín Rosas, a field archaeologist with the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico (INAH), the burial contained one skeleton that was fully intact. Bones from other individuals were also present.

Some of the bones appeared to be stacked with a purpose. They were divided into separate categories so that long bones like femurs, tibias, and ulnae were in one section while seven skulls were in another.

After conducting an analysis of the bones, researchers discovered that all of the skulls belonged to men of a range of ages. Signs of cranial modification, which was a common practice in Mesoamerica, could be seen in some of the skulls. It may have been done for aesthetic reasons. The age of the bones has not yet been confirmed, but they are thought to be up to 1,500 years old.

The researchers concluded that the remains were buried at one time as part of a funerary ritual. It was similar to the customs that were performed during the Amapa period, which took place from A.D. 500 to 850.

Ceramic vessels and anthropomorphic figurines from the site also helped archaeologists connect the burial to this time period.

Alonso Reyes – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only

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