The Aztec peoples called central Mexico home, and they held a belief that dogs were not just man's best friend, but rather man's escort to rebirth, after death. They believed that dogs could guide human souls into a new life, and so it's not uncommon for archaeologists to discover graves in the area that contain the remains of both humans and canines. What is unusual, however, is a discovery in Mexico City last week, which saw the unearthing of a grave site containing the corpses of several dogs, without any humans by their sides.
AOL reports that archaeologists announced the find last Friday, which they discovered under an apartment building in the Mexico City borough of Aztacapozalco. The remains of 12 dogs were uncovered at the burial site, and they believe that they were buried in the small pit between 1350 and 1520 A.D., which was the heyday of the Aztec empire. "This is not the first time a burial of a dog has been found, but it is the first find where many dogs were carefully buried together, in a setting that is like a cemetery," said anthropology professor Michael E. Smith.
Analysis is currently underway to determine the breed of the dogs and how they were killed, which could help to uncover the mystery of the rare find. What is the significance of their mass burial? Only time will tell.