Researchers in Mexico City made an intriguing discovery in an archaeological dig – over half a millennia ago, twelve dogs were buried together in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán. Archaeologists have found Aztec dog burials before, but this burial was unique. Before, dogs had been found to be buried with a building or a human, but this collection of dogs seems to have neither.
The Aztecs believed that dogs served their human masters even after death, so it isn’t uncommon to find human burials with an accompanying dog burial. Also, the Aztec god Xolotl is sometimes depicted as having the head of a dog and is closely associated with the Aztec afterlife. Analysis of the remains found that dogs were native Mexican breeds, including the techichi and the xoloitzcuintli, but the reason for their burial is still unknown.