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Science Briefing

Mass Aztec grave is discovered

February 14, 2009|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Archaeologists have found a mass grave in Mexico City with 49 human skeletons laid out in neat lines that could reveal clues about the 16th century Spanish conquest that killed millions.

The investigators found the skeletons, all lying face up with arms crossed, as they searched for a palace complex in the Tlatelolco area, once a major religious and political center for the ancient Aztec elite.

It is likely the indigenous people buried in the grave died in battle against the Spanish or during plagues that killed many in the native population in 1545 and 1576, said Salvador Guilliem, director of the site for the National Institute of Anthropology and History.

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