Stone Skull Rack , Chichen Itza -Yucatan, Mexico

Tzompantli or”skull rack,” “wall of skulls,” or “skull banner. Chichen Itza has a particularly fine and intact example   of Tzompantli.

Apart from their use to display the skulls of ritualistically-executed war captives, the losers of the ritualistic MesoAmerican ball court game were sacrificed thus contributing their heads to the Tzompantli . The captain of the winning team was tasked with taking the head of the losing team’s captain to be displayed on a tzompantli.

It was most commonly erected as a linearly-arranged series of vertical posts connected by a series of horizontal crossbeams. The skulls were pierced or threaded laterally along these horizontal stakes. An alternate arrangement, more common in the Maya regions, was for the skulls to be impaled on top of one another along the vertical pole.

In its structure, shaped like a “T”, the base of the Tzompantli supports three panels decorated with skulls and divided by mouldings. Those at the ends have skull reproductions in high relief; the one in the centre is wider and has two rows of skulls. In total, more than 500 skulls carved in high relief have been found.


Prints : Available as Giclee print on finest quality paper or  canvas. International shipment

Sizes available: 8 x 12″(203 x 305 mm); 12 x 16″(305 x 410mm); 18 x 24″(457 x 610 mm); 24 x 32″ (610 x 813mm)

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