1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to secondary content



Latino Daily News

Thursday January 10, 2013

Prehispanic Teotihuacans Exhumed Dead and Used Make-Up in After-Death Rituals

Prehispanic Teotihuacans Exhumed Dead and Used Make-Up in After-Death Rituals

Photo: Teotihuacans After-Death Rituals

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

In collaboration with the National University of Mexico, a team of Spanish researchers has analysed for the first time remains of cosmetics in the graves of prehispanic civilisations on the American continent. In the case of the Teotihuacans, these cosmetics were used as part of the after-death ritual to honour their city’s most important people.

A research team from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the University of Valencia has studied various funerary samples found in urns in the Teotihuacan archaeological site (Mexico) that date from between 200 and 500 AD.

The scientists have been researching Mayan wall paintings in Mexico and Guatemala since 2006. Published in the ‘Journal of Archaeological Science’, this project came about after contact on various occasions with other researchers in the area, namely the National University of Mexico, who wanted to know the composition and function of the cosmetics found in pots.

In these rituals the high priest of the city would conduct a ceremony in the dwelling of the most noble of citizens (nobility, princes and kings). The reason for this is that unlike today where graves are located in special places, in those days the deceased were buried underneath the floor of their homes.

Teotihuacan is one of the most important and most visited archaeological sites in Mexico thanks to its close location to Mexico City and its spectacular great Mayan pyramid.