1,600-Year-Old Skeleton Found In Ancient Ruins of Teotihuacan

On early July 2016, a team of archeologists have discovered the 1,600-year-old skeleton of an upper-class woman whose skull was intentionally deformed and teeth were encrusted with mineral stones near Mexico's ancient ruins of Teotihuacan. She was buried in the Barrio Oaxaqueño neighborhood, also known as Tlailotlacan meaning “people from distant lands.” Judging from her extensive body modifications, she lived up to the neighborhood’s billing.

The woman, between 35 and 40 years old when she died, was buried with 19 jars that served as offerings, the National Anthropology and History Institute said. Her cranium was elongated by being compressed in a "very extreme" manner, a technique commonly used in the southern part of Mesoamerica, not the central region where she was found.


Her teeth are of particular note. The central incisors in her upper jaw are embedded with round pyrite stones. This technique required cutting a hole in the enamel of the tooth and inserting the decorative stones. It was practiced in the Mayan cities of southern Mexico (see the jade tooth inserts found in Uxul on the Yucatan peninsula), Guatemala and Belize. One incisor in her lower jaw was replaced with a prosthetic made of serpentine, a green stone carved in the shape of a tooth. This was not of local manufacture and she must have worn it for many years because it shows signs of wear and tartar growth. Researchers are currently studying this tooth looking for evidence of how it was affixed to the jaw, possibly with a cement-like adhesive or some kind of fiber that held it in place.

Her teeth and skull make hers one of the most extensively modified bodies ever discovered at Teotihuacan. It also confirms that the residents of Tlailotlacan weren’t only labourers who were brought to or moved to the big city for work, but people of wealth and status as well. The Lady of Tlailotlacan’s modifications were reserved for the Maya elites.

Sources:

http://www.thehistoryblog.com/archives/43215

http://phys.org/news/2016-07-skeleton-stone-encrusted-teeth-mexico-ancient.html

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/skeleton-with-stone-encrusted-teeth-found-in-mexico-021359671.html



Written By Tripzibit on Jul 19, 2016 | 22:23

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