Archaeologists in Mexico City have made an extraordinary discovery—the skeletons of 12 dogs all mysteriously buried together more than 500 years ago, in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan.
Dog burials have been uncovered before at archaeological digs, but this is a first such finding not associated with a building or a human burial.
Dogs were important symbolically in Aztec mythology. They were believed to serve their masters even after death, guiding the soul of the deceased through the many hazardous layers of the underworld to reach Mictlan, the place of the dead. Whether the Aztecs associated the buried dogs with such symbolism is still unknown.
Interestingly, the bones look quite intact, meaning these particular dogs probably weren’t eaten for food (the primary reason dogs were raised – hey, they weren’t hypocrites, they ate people as well, albeit for religious reasons).
The location has been dated to somewhere between A.D. 1350 to 1520, so before the Conquest.
Via National Geographic.