Scores of skulls believed to be part of recent crime scene are actually thousands of years old

Researchers have debunked that over 100 skulls that were discovered by an unsuspecting citizen nearly a decade ago are not actually part of a massive and recent crime scene, but rather were part of an alter of skulls from thousands of years ago. 

The skulls were inside the Comalapa Cave in Chiapas, Mexico, according to a news release from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) Mexico. 

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Image of skulls found in Comalapa Cave in Chiapas, Mexico. (INAH via Storyful)

The 150 skulls are believed to be from the Early Postclassic period (900-1000 A.D.). 

"We have recognized the skeletal remains of three infants, but most of the bones are from adults and, until now, they are more from women than from men," said Javier Montes de Paz, a researcher and physical anthropologist at the INAH Chiapas Center. 


Alter of skulls, or tzompantli, in the Comalapa Cave. (INAH via Storyful )

"We still do not have the exact calculation of how many there are, since some are very fragmented, but so far we can talk about approximately 150 skulls," he added. 

Researchers were able to find other types of bones apart from skulls such as femurs, tibias and radii, but have yet to find a complete skeleton. This led them to believe the site was the final resting place of many who were beheaded, the news release stated. 


Main entrance to the Cueva de Comalapa, Chiapas.  (INAH via Storyful )

Montes de Paz hopes to continue analyzing the skulls and possibly find more remains in the Comalapa Cave. 

Storyful contributed to this report. This story was reported out of Los Angeles.