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Natl Geographic: Research finds cannibalism at site in Mexico






"It's long been rumored that an ancient, isolated people in what's now northern Mexico ate their own kind, in the hopes that they'd be able to eat corn later.

Now an analysis of more than three dozen bones bearing evidence of boiling and defleshing confirms that the Xiximes people were in fact cannibals, archaeologists say.

The Xiximes believed that ingesting the bodies and souls of their enemies and using the cleaned bones in rituals would guarantee the fertility of the grain harvest, according to historical accounts by Jesuit missionaries.

The newfound bones prove that cannibalism, "was a crucial aspect of their worldview, their identity," said José Luis Punzo, an archaeologist behind the new research."

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Cannibalism Confirmed Among Ancient Mexican Group (National Geographic News 9/30)