Mexico: Aztec archaeological discoveries in city center


Aztec rain god Tlaloc

The BBC reports:

Archaeologists working in Mexico City have discovered an Aztec monolith, the most important ruins of the ancient civilisation to be found in decades.

The monolith and an altar, dating from the 15th Century, were unearthed in the very heart of the busy capital city.

The city’s mayor described the discovery as the biggest in almost three decades.

A figure representing the rain god Tlaloc and another unidentified figure are carved into a frieze on the altar.

Under the surface

The discoveries were made near the ruins of the civilisation’s main temple, the Templo Mayor, near the city’s central Zocalo Square.

“It is a very important discovery, the biggest we have made in 28 years.

It will allow us to find out much more,” Mexico City Major Alejandro Encinas said.

The stone slab is some 3.5m (11ft) in height and much of it remains buried beneath the surface.

Archaeologists say they think it might be part of an entrance to an underground chamber.

The ancient Aztecs began the construction of the Templo Mayor temple in 1375.

It was discovered, by accident, in 1978 when electricity workers came across a vast carving of an Aztec goddess.

Aztec mathematics: here.

Robot Uncovers Ancient Burial Chambers Beneath Teotihuacan Temple – Huffington Post: here.

Cacao in Mesoamerican prehistory: here.

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9 thoughts on “Mexico: Aztec archaeological discoveries in city center

  1. April 8, 2008

    Ancient Mariners Sailed Between Mexico and South America

    MIT students recreated rafts that took people and goods between the west coasts of Mexico and South America. Cynthia Graber reports.

    Podcast Transcript: Western Mexico and countries on the west coast of South American had ancient relationships, involving trade in goods and culture. Now MIT students have analyzed just how this communication and transportation system worked. The research was published in the Journal of Anthropological Research.

    First, the students recreated a raft, based on descriptions in European colonial writings. They successfully tested it on Boston’s Charles River. Then the student used computerized engineering design programs to test the raft’s size, weight, and cargo capacity. They had to develop a much more detailed design for the raft’s dimensions than what was available in the centuries-old drawings. But they didn’t stop at aerodynamics and hydrodynamics—they also delved into biology. Because shipworms can make a quick snack of South American balsa wood.

    A one-way voyage would take between six and eight weeks. So how long would a raft last on the journey before succumbing to shipworms? According to the student¹s simulations, rafts could last two full round trips between Mexico and the Andean countries. Enough time for a vibrant exchange of goods and ideas.

    —Cynthia Graber

    http://www.sciam.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=2AB9DADC-EF95-2483-46A5C1D78227344A&sc=rss

    Like

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  3. Mexico finds 50 skulls in ceremonial center of Aztec empire; shows clues for ritual mysteries

    Published October 05, 2012

    Associated Press

    MEXICO CITY – Mexican archaeologists say they have uncovered the largest number of skulls ever found in one offering at the most sacred temple of the Aztec empire dating back more than 500 years.

    Experts say the finding reveals new ways the pre-Colombian civilization used skulls in rituals at Mexico City’s Templo Mayor. That’s where the most important Aztec ceremonies took place between 1325 until the Spanish conquest in 1521.

    The 50 skulls were found at one sacrificial stone. Five were buried under the stone, and each had holes on both sides — the five skulls had been hung on a skull rack.

    Archaeologist Raul Barrera of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History said Friday the other 45 skulls appeared to have just been dumped on top of the stone.

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