People Carried A Mummy A Thousand Years Before Sticking It In This Pyramid
Archaeologists keep finding old Mesoamerican pyramids. In Mexico, the mega famous pyramids are in Tenochtitlan and Chichen Itza, but plenty more keep popping up. The House of the Thirteen Heavens, near San Miguel de Allende, was pretty much unknown before the 2000s. It dates back to the sixth century, and we aren’t even sure just who built it.
The structures in this complex contained human remains (no big surprise there). Archaeologists found 19 bodies in there, including a dog. One skeleton, though, was weird.
It was a woman, according to DNA evidence; the first examination suggested it was a man. It dated back to the fifth century, BC. The other skeletons date to the sixth century not-B.C.: most of the skeletal residents died and then got entombed in the pyramid, but this one skeleton is almost a thousand years older than the pyramid itself.
So, did the people who built the pyramid—the Otomi, speculate archaeologists, but again, no one knows for sure—dig up some grave to stick whatever skeleton they found in their new temple? No, say the archaeologists. Instead, they must have carried this corpse with them, unburied, for a millennium, as they moved from place to place. Finally, they built a resting place worthy of it.
It had to have been an important ancestor. Still, if you have any important ancestors of your own hanging around the house, we recommend burial, cremation, cannibalism, anything other than just keeping the body around for fifty generations.
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Top image: Erik Reinecke