There are around 20 Mayan burials with signs of decapitation.
INAH archaeologists revealed the discovery of about twenty human burials consecrated to a temple-pyramid in the Moral-Reforma archaeological zone, which has suggested to experts that said construction was linked to death or to a deity of the Mayan underworld. , due to decapitation marks on some of the bodies.
The building where they were located is known as Structure 18, in the eastern plaza of the old city, where both burials were located at two different times.
The first, found at a depth of 35 and 57 centimeters, contains 13 burials including male human skulls, jaw fragments and limb bones, of which at least eight could have been decapitated and part of their bodies dismembered and placed separately. to consecrate the temple.
These date from the late classic period (600-900 AD), that is, when the archaeological site was consolidated as an enclave in the control of navigation, cultural and merchandise exchange between the Mayan peoples of the Guatemalan Petén and those settled on the coast. of the Gulf of Mexico.
The second group was found under the first, which could be close to two millennia old and includes 567 pieces including shell and jade beads that must have made strings, shell rings, projectile points, vessels, perforated snails, and bone needles. , in the late preclassic (300 BC-AD 250).
Regarding both findings, made within the framework of the Program for the Improvement of Archaeological Zones (Promeza), archaeologist Francisco Apolinar Cuevas highlighted that the skulls recovered are mostly of young male adults and show oblique tabular deformation, “a physical feature that was obtained from intentionally, through head splints at an early age, which elevated the status of individuals in pre-Columbian Mayan society.