published Saturday, February 15th, 2014

Ancient dog burial site found in Mexico City

This Jan. 17, 2014, image released by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History, INAH), Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, shows canine skeletons unearthed by investigators in Mexico City.
This Jan. 17, 2014, image released by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History, INAH), Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, shows canine skeletons unearthed by investigators in Mexico City.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

MEXICO CITY — Archaeologists say they have discovered "an exceptional" burial site under an apartment building in Mexico City containing the remains of 12 dogs, animals that had a major religious and symbolic significance to the Aztec peoples of central Mexico.

Experts with Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History, or INAH, said in a statement Friday that this is the first time a group of dogs has been found buried together. They have been found accompanying human remains or as part of an offering in a monument.

Aztecs believed dogs could guide human souls into a new life after death on earth.

Archaeologist Rocio Sanchez says the dogs were buried in a small pit between 1350 a 1520 A.D., the heyday of the Aztec empire.

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