Grisly ‘flayed god’ temple discovered in Mexico

In a remarkable discovery, archaeologists in Mexico have uncovered the first known temple of the “Flayed Lord” a pre-Hispanic fertility god depicted as a skinned human corpse.

Ancient priests worshipped the god by skinning human victims and then donning their skins.

Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) said the find was made during recent excavations of Popoloca Indian ruins in the central state of Puebla.

Two skull-like stone carvings and a stone trunk depicting the god Xipe Totec were found. Veneration of the god was seen as a way to ensure fertility and regeneration.

The stone trunk depiction Xipe Totec has an extra hand dangling off one arm, suggesting the god was wearing the skin of a sacrificial victim.

The deity was one of the most important gods of the Pre-Hispanic era, according to INAH. “Its influence in the fertility, the regeneration of the agricultural cycles and the war, was recognized by numerous cultures of the West, Center and Gulf of Mexico,” it said in a statement.

Depictions of the god had been found before in other cultures, including the Aztecs. However, this is the first discovery of a temple directly associated with the cult of Xipe Totec, according to INAH.

The Popolocas built the temple at a complex known as Ndachjian-Tehuacan between A.D. 1000 and 1260 and were later conquered by the Aztecs.

Ancient accounts of the rituals suggested victims were killed in gladiator-style combat or by arrows on one platform, then skinned on another platform. The layout of the temple at Tehuacan seems to match that description.

INAH notes that, in addition to the stone sculptures of Xipe Totec, two sacrificial altars were found in the archaeological zone of Ndachjian-Tehuacan.

The stone trunk is approximately 2.6-feet tall and has a hole that historians believe once contained a ceremonial green stone.

Each of the skulls is approximately 2.3 feet tall and weighs about 440 pounds. Carved from volcanic stone, the skulls are also marked by cuts that represent “skinning.”

The discovery is the latest fascinating archaeological find in Mexico. Last year, for example, archaeologists discovered a mysterious tunnel and chamber beneath the Pyramid of the Moon in the ancient city of Teotihuacán.

Researchers from INAH and the Institute of Geophysics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) located the hidden spaces at the famous site near Mexico City.

In another project, an ancient mask depicting a 7th-century Maya king was discovered in southern Mexico.

Women beware: Uterine cancer rates are rising

Thanks to modern medicine, most types of cancer are on the decline today. However, a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report shows that uterine cancer didn’t get the memo.

“Uterine cancer is one of the few cancers with increasing incidence and mortality in the United States,” the report said.

The cancer claimed over 10,700 lives in 2016, according to the CDC’s report. Over 50,000 new cases were confirmed the previous year. According to the CDC, uterine cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer among women. It’s a top contender for cancer deaths in women as well.


What’s more, the new report found something particularly interesting about uterine cancer and minorities. First, mortality rates jumped the highest in black women compared to other ethnic groups. Specifically, the cancer’s rates are 4 to 5 deaths per 100,000 women for non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics and several other groups.

However, black women are seeing 9 deaths per 100,000. That’s a nearly doubled number. So why the stark difference?

“Black women were more likely to receive a diagnosis at a distant stage and with more aggressive histologic types than were other women,” according to the CDC.

Researchers think their late diagnoses “might in part account for the higher death rate among black women.”

Second, several minorities have shown the highest increases in uterine cancer when compared to non-Hispanic white women. Those include Hispanic and Asian groups, alongside the black population.

But other groups aren’t off the hook here either. Uterine cancer is more common among all women in the report than it was before.

Between 1999 to 2015, the overall occurrence of uterine cancer rose by 12 percent. That rate is the highest in black and white populations: 27 cases per 100,000 women. For other groups, the incidence is only 23 out of 100,000.

What’s worse, death rates have increased even more. Across the board, deaths from uterine cancer have risen by 21 percent.

Experts believe these numbers are “reflecting, in part, increases in the prevalence of overweight and obesity since the 1980s.”

Researchers don’t understand all the reasons behind the association, says the National Cancer Institute. However, studies continue to show a strong relationship between obesity and cancer.

NCI states that almost 70 percent of US adults age 20 and over are overweight. In addition, overweight women are 2-4 times more likely to develop endometrial cancer.

Endometrial cancer is the most common of all uterine cancers, according to the CDC.

The idea is that if obesity is on the rise, uterine cancer should follow suit. This report is suggesting just that. Uterine cancer doesn’t undergo preventative screening tests, unlike cervical, breast or lung cancer.

For now, the CDC recommends that doctors and health professionals promote a healthy lifestyle and exercise among women. In addition, women should stay informed about the early warning signs of uterine cancer.

Infants not getting full-night sleep by 6 to 12 months old not more prone to issues later: study

A new study published last month in the journal “Pediatrics” said parents need not fret if their infants aren’t getting a full night’s sleep by the time they’ve reached by 6 months and one year of age, Sleep Review reported.

The study, “Uninterrupted Infant Sleep, Development, and Maternal Mood,” defined a full night of sleep as between 6 and 8 hours without interruptions. The researchers studied the sleeping patterns of 388 infants at 6 months of age, and another 369 infants at one year of age.

Of the 6-month-old group, 38 percent of their mothers reported their infants not sleeping a full 6 hours, while more than half the mothers reported their infants not sleeping 8 hours, the report said. Of the 1-year-old group, 28 percent weren’t sleeping a full 6 hours, while 43 percent weren’t sleeping a full 8.

According to the report, the researchers determined that infants who wake up in the middle of the night are not more prone to developing issues with cognitive, language, or motor development. The researchers also found no link between a mother’s postnatal mood and infants waking up in the middle of the night.

The researchers did determine a connection between infants who wake up during the night and breastfeeding – which they said offers benefits for both infants and mothers.

The study advised parents to invest more time in education about infants’ sleep-wake cycles rather than devoting energy to interventionist methods.