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Encyclopedia > Tzompantli

A stake used to display the heads of victims or defeated Mesoamerican ball game opponents. The defeated were sacrificed in polytheistic rituals. Commonly found in the ancient Maya civilization. The word Maya or maya can refer to: The Maya – a Native American people of southern Mexico and northern Central America the modern Maya people the pre-Columbian Maya civilization the Maya language Maya – a concept in Hindu/Vedic philosophy a state of misperception of reality the inherent force of...


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Tzompantli - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (765 words)
A tzompantli is a type of wooden rack or palisade documented in several Mesoamerican civilizations, which was used for the public display of human skulls, typically those of war captives or other sacrificial victims.
A tzompantli is illustrated to the right of a depiction of an Aztec temple dedicated to the deity Huitzilopochtli; from Juan de Tovar's 1587 manuscript, the Ramirez Codex.
The gourd tree is a clear representation of a tzompantli, and the image of skulls in trees as if they were fruits is also a common indicator of a tzompantli and the associations with some of the game's metaphorical interpretations.
Human sacrifice in Aztec culture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4409 words)
A tzompantli, or skull rack, associated with the temple dedicated to Huitzilopochtli, in the Ramirez Codex, Juan de Tovar's 1587 manuscript.
In the description of the tzompantli, a rack of skulls of the victims in the main temple, he reports to have counted about 100,000 skulls.
However, to accommodate that many skulls, the tzompantli would have had a length of several kilometers, instead of the 30 meters reported, unless it was stacked in several rows.
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