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Dog burial site found: Azetc dog grave discovered in Mexico City

Mexico City is the site where an ancient dog burial site was found, ABC News wrote on Feb 15. Friday, archaeologists announced the discovery of an old mass grave site for dogs. No, it's not your typical pet cemetery. Instead, this old burial ground for dogs has some symbolic meaning to Aztec people, similar to Christians with the burial site for Jesus.

 Endal, who was voted 'Dog of the Millenium', barking into the cold air in PDSA's Ilford Animal cemetery on December 13, 2007 in London.
Photo by Cate Gillon/Getty Images

Watch video above of 10 other mysterious burial sites found worldwide.

The ancient dog burial site, described as "an exceptional" discovery, revealed the remains of a dozen canines in the Central Mexico town.

The discovery is quite remarkable and has scientists astonished. Case in point: In the past, dog remains only accompanied the burial of humans, as if part of some offering or sacrifice with the dead. However, this is the first time such an ancient tomb for a dog was found in which the animals were buried alone.

This is definitely a special finding because of the number of dogs and because we have found no connection to a building or with the deceased," said archaeologist Rocio Morales Sanchez with Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History, or INAH.

Researchers who unearthed the ancient dog grave believed they were interred in the tiny pit around 1350 a 1520 A.D, at a time in which the Aztec empire thrived.

Back then, natives believed dogs -- if buried underneath humans -- could guide them into the afterlife and double as sentries for the pyramids.

"This is not the first time a burial of a dog has been found, but it is the first find where many dogs were carefully buried together, in a setting that is like a cemetery," said Michael E. Smith, an anthropology professor at Arizona State University.

With the discovery of the Aztec dog burial site, archaeologists hope to conduct a full analysis of the remains. They hope to learn of the dogs' breed and, perhaps, the manner of death.

Historical records and the oral tradition suggested that Aztecs kept pet dogs called Techichi. This particular breed had short legs, which could make them related to the Chihuahua.

This story is developing.


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