January 3, 2018

The First Temple to the Mesoamerican Deity Xipe Totec Uncovered

For the first time, INAH has found a temple dedicated to the Mesoamerica deity Xipe Totec in Puebla. There are two sacrificial altars, three stone sculptures and a stone torso covered in sacrificial skin which all personify Xipe Totec at the site. The temple building dates to 1000-1260 CE, and was in use till 1456 CE. The sculptures are made of volcanic rock imported into the region, The sacrificial skinning ceremony was carried out on two circular altars. The captives were killed on the first altar by staged fights or arrows. They were then skinned on the second altar, by priests wearing the skins of flayed individuals. The skins were deposited in a hole in front of the altars.
INAH found that the skulls were used to close the holes in front of the altar

INAH has the report here (in Spanish) with a slide show (click on the little camera icon near the top of the report);
https://www.inah.gob.mx/boletines/7883-descubren-el-primer-templo-dedicado-a-xipe-totec-en-la-zona-arqueologica-de-ndachjian-tehuacan

The Daily Mail has the report translated into English with more photos here;
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6549625/Mexico-finds-Flayed-god-temple-priests-wore-skins-dead.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Toltecs and Aztecs
http://mikeruggeristoltecsandaztecs.tumblr.com

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