As you make your way from the ball court to the Temple of Warriors, you’ll pass the gruesome Tzompantli (Wall of Skulls). A low T-shaped platform, it is decorated on all sides with row upon row of carved skulls, most with eyes staring out of the large sockets. Among the skulls are images of warriors holding the heads of decapitated victims, skeletons intertwined with snakes, and eagles eating human hearts (a common image in Toltec design, further evidence of their presence here).
It is presumed that ceremonies performed on this platform culminated in a sacrificial death for the victim, the head then left on display, perhaps with others already in place. It’s estimated that the platform was built A.D. 1050–1200.
Nearby, the Platform of Venus and Platform of Eagles and Jaguars are smaller square structures, each with low stairways on all four sides, and were likely used for ritual music and dancing.
© Gary Chandler & Liza Prado from Moon Yucatán Peninsula, 9th edition