When these small Aztec artifacts were first discovered decades ago, they were presumed to be simply decorative items. However, experts have more recently suggested that the skull shaped items found in Mexico might have actually been instruments used in ceremonies, sacrifices, or during battles.
Two skull-shaped, hollow whistles were found 20 years ago at the temple of the wind god Ehecatl, in the hands of a sacrificed male skeleton. When their purpose was later revealed, several theories have been suggested – it’s possible that the haunting sound the whistles make was believed to help Aztecs reach the afterlife, or that they were used to intimidate enemies, or were a terrifying part of ritual sacrifice ceremonies.
Roberto Velázquez Cabrera is an engineer and has spent years trying to reconstruct the instruments of the ancient Aztecs to examine the sound they make. The whistles are associated with death rituals not only because of the skull decoration, but because two examples were found in the hands of a sacrificed male skeleton in front of the temple of wind god Ehecatl at Tlatelolco, he wrote in an article for Mexicolore.
The whistles are said to produce the sound of “humans howling in pain, spooky gusts of whistling wind or the ‘scream of a thousand corpses”.
You can here this unnerving sound in the videos below.