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Decapitated Maya found in 1,400-year-old mass grave


Archaeologists working in the Maya city of Uxul unearthed a mass grave containing the remains of 24 decapitated and dismembered people.

“Aside from the large number of interred individuals, it already became apparent during the excavation that the skeletons were no longer in their original anatomical articulation,” says the archaeologist Nicolaus Seefeld, who studied the sophisticated water supply system of Uxul for his doctoral thesis and discovered the mass grave. All of the skulls were lying scattered around the interior of the cave, in no relation to the rest of the bodies. Even the majority of the lower jaws were separated from the heads. In contrast, detailed examination determined that the limbs of the legs and hands were in some cases completely preserved. “This observation excluded the possibility that this mass grave was a so-called secondary burial, in which the bones of the deceased are placed at a new location,” says Nicolaus Seefeld.

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Story: Science Daily | Photo: Nicolaus Seefeld/Uni Bonn

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