This also happens to be one of the oldest inhabited cities on the planet.
Archeologists have discovered the remnants of more than 20 successive settlements in the area dating back to around 10,000 B. This would imply that Jericho sprung up right around the same time that humans were able to abandon a hunter-gatherer lifestyle in exchange for permanent agricultural settlements.
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Aztec skull art was not limited to skull racks, however.
In fact, the skull as a symbol was extremely important to the Aztecs, and appeared in art dedicated to many of their deities.
The ancient Zapotec and Mixteca people of Oaxaca and Puebla had a practice similar to the inhabitants of Jericho. These have even been compared to the famous Damien Hirst piece, "For the Love of God."Artificial cranial deformation (or head binding) is a form of body modification in which the skull is intentionally deformed into an elongated, rounded or flat shape.
The skulls of their ancestors were mixed with ivory, bamboo, jade, turquoise, and other minerals to show the status of the ancestor. This is usually done during infancy, while the skull is still pliable, by using a crudely engineered device such as a cradleboard.
This striking figure has since become associated closely with the Day of the Dead holiday, and Catrina figures are often part of the observances.
The Catrina figure, and many other elements of the Day of the Dead, continue to influence artists today, such as Laurie Lipton.
Mictecacihuatl is known as the Lady of the Dead, since it is believed that she was born, then sacrificed as an infant.
Modern Day of the Dead celebrations are filled with skull and skeleton imagery, including sugar skulls, calaveras makeup, masks, ofrendas (altars in memory of the dead), tattoos, dolls, parade floats, etc.
Coatlicue, the "Mother of the Gods", was the Aztec goddess who gave birth to the moon and stars.