Monday, February 17, 2014

Aztec canines

The Aztecs had a high regard for dogs, believing that they could guide human souls after death and guard pyramids when buried beneath them. Yet at the height of the Aztec empire, between 1350 and 1520 A.D., they buried 12 dogs together in a small pit in what is now the Aztacapozalco borough of Mexico City. The dogs have been dated stratigraphically and are medium-sized with full sets of teeth. It is the first time a group of dogs has been found interred together in a cemetery-like setting. Archaeologist Rocio Morales Sanchez with Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History points out, "This is definitely a special finding because of the number of dogs and because we have found no connection to a building or with the deceased."

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