The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, September 15, 2019

Mexican archaeologists find colonial human skeletons in the State of Guerrero
Necklace. Photo INAH.

Translated by: Cristina Perez Ayala

MEXICO CITY.- News of finding a couple of 300 year old colonial era burials in the atrium of the old church they were planning to demolish, spread quickly among the 400 and plus inhabitants of Texpoxtlan, Guerrero, in the municipality of Ahuacuotzingo.

To the inhabitants of Tepoxtlan, this discovery, made by specialists by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), represents a brief tale of the epoch in which the construction of Temple San Agustin, today considered a historic monument, took place.

The finding made mid-November last year, emanated from the maintenance given to the parish’s north wall of the atrium, alongside the temple’s façade, where they found ruins of a wall that had been part of a pre-Hispanic basement. Following the exploration, they were able to glimpse the presence of osseous remains at different depths.

The physical anthropologist Jorge Cervantes Martinez, from the INAH Center in Guerrero, traveled to Tepoxtlan and was able to determine which part of the wall had been destroyed, possibly between the XVI and XVII centuries, in order to introduce the coffins that held the remains of a young woman (around 15 or 17 years of age), and those of a male infant (between 12 and 18 months).

Jorge Cervantes detailed that the woman suffered from lumbar scoliosis (an abnormal deformity in the spinal column), and as she was buried her chest was adorned with a 26 glass bead necklace complete with a medal. At present, the object is being cleaned in order to recognize the religious image engraved in the medal.

In the case of the minor, they have observed that fragments of its cranium and the tibia reflect that the infant was exposed to “nutritional stress”, possibly after it was weaned. To the physical anthropologist, this context, even though it was small, allows us to understand some aspects of life in Tepoxtlan during the first centuries of the Colonial era.

In regard to the work done by the Temporary Employment Program, they have been able to dignify the Temple of San Agustin as an important landmark. Because of its former deterioration, the townspeople had thought to demolish it and build a new one; however this idea was discarded thanks to the opportune action of the Coordination of National Monuments in INAH.

These works and findings have motivated the interest of Tepoxtlan’s inhabitants to create a communal museum, which is why they have rehabilitated the adobe and tile located in the atrium.

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