Researchers Discover Ancient Temple in Mexico Where Pagan Priests Skinned Human Victims and Wore Their Skins

In this 2018 photo provided by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, INAH, a skull-like stone carving and a stone trunk depicting the Flayed Lord, a pre-Hispanic fertility god depicted as a skinned human corpse, are stored after being excavated from the Ndachjian–Tehuacan archaeological site in Tehuacan, Puebla state, where archaeologists have discovered the first temple dedicated to the deity. Although depictions of the god, Xipe Totec, had been found before in other cultures, a whole temple had never been discovered. (Meliton Tapia Davila/INAH via AP)

Researchers have discovered an ancient temple in Mexico of a pre-Hispanic fertility god that priests worshiped by skinning victims and wearing their skins.

The Associated Press reported that recent excavations of Popoluca Indian ruins in the central state of Puebla. Mexico, led to the discovery of two skull-like stone carvings and a stone trunk depicting the god Xipe Totec.

Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History explained that priests worshiped the deity by skinning human victims and then wearing their skins as a means to ensure fertility and regeneration.

The temple is believed to have been built by the Popolucas between A.D. 1000 and 1260, before they were conquered by the Aztecs.

Experts say that the victims were likely killed in gladiator-style combat, with the layout of Tehuacan temple suggesting they were skinned on another platform.

University of Florida archaeologist Susan Gillespie commented that “finding the torso fragment of a human wearing the flayed skin of a sacrificial victim is perhaps the most compelling evidence of the association of this practice and related deity to a particular temple, more so to me than the two sculpted skeletal crania.”

Gillespie added that the Aztec practice “was to perform the sacrificial death in one or more places, but to ritually store the skins in another, after they had been worn by living humans for some days. So it could be that this is the temple where they were kept, making it all the more sacred.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Stoyan Zaimov