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‘The flayed God’: Archaeologists find Mexico temple to god of skinning sacrifices

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Archaeologists in Mexico have found the first temple to the pre-Hispanic deity Xipe Totec, a god of fertility and war who was worshipped by sacrificing and skinning captives.

Evidence indicates that priests ritually sacrificed their victims on one of the temple’s two circular altars, then flayed them on the other and draped themselves in their skin, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History said in a statement.

Historians have long known that Xipe Totec (“the flayed god”) was worshipped by numerous peoples across what is now central and western Mexico and the Gulf coast.

But the discovery — made among the ruins of the Ndachjian-Tehuacan archeological site in the central state of Puebla — is the first time a temple dedicated to the god has been found, the institute said.

The artifacts uncovered at the site include three stone sculptures of Xipe Totec: two skinned heads and a torso, whose back is covered in engravings representing the sacrificial skins worn by the god.

“Sculpturally speaking it’s a very beautiful piece. It measures approximately 80 centimeters (30 inches) tall and has a hole in the belly, which according to historical sources is where a green stone was placed to ‘bring it to life’ for ceremonies,” said Noemi Castillo Tejero, the lead archaeologist on the project.

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The skulls measure about 70 centimeters tall and weigh some 200 kilograms (440 pounds).

The temple would have been used from around the year 1000 until about 1260, the institute said. The Spanish takeover of Mexico began in 1519 with the arrival of the conquistador Hernan Cortes.

The institute said Xipe Totec was one of the most important gods in pre-Hispanic Mexico, and was worshipped in a ceremony called Tlacaxipehualiztli, which in the indigenous Nahuatl language means “to wear the skin of the flayed one.”

Sacrificial victims were killed either through gladiatorial combat matches or by being shot with arrows, then flayed to glorify Xipe Totec, it said.

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Their skins were then buried at the foot of the altars.

Two holes filled in with earth were found in front of the altars at the Ndachjian-Tehuacan site, it said.

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‘Dangerous linguistic power’: A historian explains how Trump weaponizes nicknames

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Is Donald Trump the modern day Earl Long?

A three-time Louisiana governor, Long mastered the art of political ridicule seven decades ago by weaponizing nicknames. The hilarious names Long pinned on his rivals, and the rollicking stories he told about them, riveted audiences bored by puffed-up rhetoric.

While Long’s stunts may be remembered as silly hijinks, there was a sly, often deadly serious, purpose to his technique. He used it to get voters to laugh at his foes and to put them on the defensive––a place politicians never want to be. Tucked within Long’s jests were razor-sharp attacks aimed at exploiting opposition weaknesses––hidden swords inside a pea-patch cloak.

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Walmart got a $2.2 billion tax cut — now it’s laying off workers

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Walmart announced it will lay off hundreds of workers in North Carolina despite receiving billions in tax cuts that the Republican Party and President Trump claimed would spur job growth.

The giant retailer will lay off about 570 employees and close its corporate office near the Charlotte airport, despite signing a 12-year lease just four years earlier, the Charlotte Business Journal reported.

The work done at the Charlotte facility will be outsourced to a firm in Arkansas, according to the report.

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Amazon, Google and Facebook warrant antitrust scrutiny for many reasons – not just because they’re large

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There’s a growing chorus of U.S. politicians, antitrust scholars and consumer watchdogs calling for stricter antitrust treatment of Amazon, Google, Facebook and other tech giants. Some even say they should be broken up.

Most recently, U.S. lawmakers launched a sweeping review to determine if these companies have become so big and powerful that they are stifling competition and harming consumers, while federal regulators are also gearing up to take action.

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