Tzompantli

Chichen Itza - Tzompantli
T

he Wall of Skulls is called the Tzompantli, which is actually an Aztec name for this kind of structure, because the first one seen by the horrified Spaniards was at the Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlan.

The Tzompantli structure at Chichén Itzá is a Toltec structure, where the heads of sacrificial victims were placed; although it was one of three platforms in the Great Plaza, it was, according to Bishop Landa, the only one for this purpose--the others were for farces and comedies, implying that the Itzá's were all about fun. The platform walls of the Tzompantli have carved reliefs of four different subjects. The primary subject is the skull rack itself; others show a scene with a human sacrifice; eagles eating human hearts; and skeletons of warriors with shields and arrows.


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