Sacrificial site The whole complex measures almost 54,000 square feet (5,000 square meters), and the main temple alone has a 4,090-square-foot (380 square meters) footprint.
The main room of the main temple was scattered with artifacts, including shell, mica and alabaster ornaments, researchers report Monday (April 22) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The archaeologists also found ceramic vessels and whistles, as well as incense braziers. Obsidian blades and lances suggest that the priests engaged in ritual bloodletting and animal sacrifice, as did the remains of turkeys, doves and other animals in the temple hearth.
It was in this room that the human tooth and possible human limb bone were discovered, though researchers can't say for certain whether those bones were a sign of human sacrifice at the temple.
The main temple also contained a kitchen much larger than those found in households in El Palenque, suggesting that cooks whipped up meals for large groups in this spot. Behind the temple were several cell-like rooms, perhaps places for priests-in-training or low-ranking priests to sleep.