The national Institute of Anthropology and History Mexico (INAH) does not hide his pride. The installation Totec – pronounced “chipè totèc” – is one of the gods the most important in the pantheon of the Popolocas and the Aztecs. “But no temple directly associated with his worship had never been” discovered”, is excited about the INAH in a statement, Thursday, 3 January. The influence of the Installation Totec (“Our lord the flayed”), god associated with fertility, regeneration of the agricultural cycles, was recognized by many civilizations in the gulf of Mexico pre-hispanic.

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This temple, probably built between 1000 and 1260 after J.-C., 12 metres long and 3.5 metres high and is composed of two altars of sacrifice, various architectural elements. It is located in the pyramid complex of the archaeological Area of Ndachjian-Tehuacán, in the State of Puebla, in central Mexico.

Among the sculptures, there are two skulls of about 70 centimeters, each weighing 200 kg, and a bust of the Installation Totec. The three are made of volcanic stone. Approximately 80 centimetres, the torso has “a hole in the belly, which was, according to the sources, to place a green stone and bring it to life for the ceremonies”, say the archaeologists. They feel that the torso could be broken during a ritual in order to kill symbolically the god ; they have good hope of being reunited with other fragments nearby.

sacrifices to the Installation Totec

Bust of the Installation Totec, “our lord the flayed”, the god of fertility. MELITON TAPIA/AFP

One of the feasts of the popular of the time was the “Tlacaxipehualiztli”, which means “to put the skin of the flayed” in the language of náhuatl. According to archaeologists, the priests worshipped the Installation Totec slipping into the skin of victims, captives killed on the first circular altar and then skinned on the second.

After the ceremony, the skin of the sacrificed was deposited in small cavities and guarded as sacred. “Two holes in the ground in front of the altars, who (…) were found under the skulls of stone” were actually noticed on the site.

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archaeologists are preparing to continue the excavations. All the elements discovered so far will be visible in the museum attached to the archaeological site of Ndachjian-Tehuacán. Mexico seems to constantly unearth new treasures. Last summer, a sanctuary has been discovered inside a pyramid, revealed after the earthquake of September 2017.