INAH analyses 80 pre-Hispanic burials discovered in Atlixco, Puebla

TUESDAY, JANUARY 12TH, 2021.-

In a statement, INAH indicated that the study is carried out in the halls and spaces of the former Hospital de San Juan de Dios, one of the longest-running sanatoriums in this country, which was in office from the eighteenth century to 2015

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The osseous remains of 80 individuals who inhabited the territory of the city of Atlixco, located in the state of Puebla in pre-Hispanic times, are analyzed by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) of Mexico.

n a statement, INAH indicated that the study is carried out in the halls and spaces of the old Hospital of San Juan de Dios, one of the longest-running sanatoriums in this country, which was in office from the eighteenth century to 2015.

"This important ossuary was located in the countryside between the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019, in an area of approximately 35 square meters," explained INAH archaeological rescue researcher Miguel Medina Jaen.

He said that given the limited time of the rescue project, the experts "proceeded to recover the 'block' vestiges, that is, with the soil substrate covering them."

Subsequently, and in dialogue with the municipality, a section of the old Hospital of San Juan de Dios was enabled, where they advance in the rigorous micro excavation of burials.

The researcher recounted that so far it has been determined that while there is evidence from 80 individuals "the wear and tear caused by natural conditions or even from pre-Cutesian times, when a burial was fragmented or pushed to inhume another person, the number of complete or primary bodies is reduced by approximately half", i.e. , about 40.

For her part, archaeologist Adriana Sáenz added that other data revealed by physical anthropology are, among others, that most individuals were adults, between 20 and 50 years old at the time of their natural death, a fact that coincides with life expectancy in the pre-Hispanic era.

In addition, almost half of the remains in the ossuary belong to women and there is no presence of infants.

He said the latter highlighted the fact that children, perhaps, "were inhumed in another section of the ancient population, or received morbid treatments other than those of adults."

The note noted that "no evidence of ritual sacrifice has been found so far, although specialists have recognized cranial deformations in almost all individuals."

Archaeologists also found pathologies such as cavities or skies, as well as two particular cases, whose ear canals were closed, a trait common in swimmers or divers.

Both researchers noted that many of the burials located ceramic offerings, such as winches, figurines, plates or tripod cajets with elaborate zoomorphic or anthropomorphic decorations.

They indicated that these elements, whose temporality dates back to the early and middle postclassic periods, between 1100 and 1300 A.D..C, "give clues to researchers about the high status that individuals should have had."

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