Teotihuacan tunnel thrills archaeologists


🖥️ Staff
Teotihuacan tunnel thrills archaeologists

Teotihuacan, Mexico - A long-sealed tunnel has been found under the ruins of Teotihuacan and chambers that seem to branch off it may hold the tombs of some of the ancient city's early rulers, archaeologists said on Tuesday.

Experts say a tomb discovery would be significant because the social structure of Teotihuacan remains a mystery after nearly 100 years of archaeological exploration at the site, which is best known for the towering Pyramids of the Moon and the Sun.

No depiction of a ruler, or the tomb of a monarch, has ever been found, setting the metropolis apart from other pre-Hispanic cultures that deified their rulers.

Archaeologists had suspected the hidden tunnel was there after a heavy rainstorm in 2003 caused the ground to sink at the foot of the Temple of Quetzacoatl, in the central ceremonial area of the ruins just north of Mexico City.

Starting last year, they began digging, and after eight months of excavation, they reached the roof of the tunnel last month, 12m below the surface.

They lowered a small camera into the four-metre-wide corridor, which had been carved out of the rock early in Teotihuacan's history, and got the first glimpse of the space that they say was intentionally closed off between AD 200 and 250.

"I think the tunnel was the central element, the main element around which the rest of the ceremonial centre was built," archaeologist Sergio Gomez said. "This was the most sacred place."

The camera showed the tunnel appearing to extend about 37m before it is blocked by a wall or mound.

Ground-penetrating scanner images found the tunnel extends beyond the blockage and ends in a large chamber that measures 10m on each side, lying almost directly beneath the temple. Two smaller chambers appear on either side of the rough-hewn corridor.

All the signs point to it being a ruler's tomb, Gomez said, including the rich offerings tossed into the tunnel at the moment it was closed up: almost 50 000 objects of jade, stone, shell and pottery, including ceramic beakers of a kind never found before at the site.

"Up to now, every archaeologist who has worked in Teotihuacan has tried to find the tombs of the rulers," Gomez said.

"There is a high possibility that in this place, in the central chamber, we can find the remains of those who ruled Teotihuacan," he added.

The complex of pyramids, plazas, temples and avenues was once the centre of a city of more than 100 000 inhabitants and may have been the largest and most influential city in pre-Hispanic North America at the time.

Nearly 2 500 years after the city was founded - and about 2 100 years after the Teotihuacan culture began to flourish there - the identity of its rulers remains a mystery.

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The city was built by a relatively little-known culture that reached its height between 100 BC and AD 750. It was abandoned by the time the Aztecs arrived in the area in the 1300s and gave it the name "Teotihuacan", which means "the place where men become gods".

Luis Barba, of the Anthropological Research Institute of Mexico's National Autonomous University, said that because there are no images, names or other references to rulers among Teotihuacan's rich murals and stone carvings, some experts suggest the city might have had a shared leadership, with rulers alternating between its four precincts.

"People have looked for these rulers for many years," Barba said. "Perhaps they will be found now. There is nothing to rule it out or make it impossible, but at this point, we have nothing."

Gomez said it will take at least two more months of digging before archaeologists can actually enter the tunnel.

News - Discovery: Teotihuacan tunnel thrills archaeologists*(Page 2 of 2)
Re: Teotihuacan tunnel thrills archaeologists

Magnificent place. When you are standing on top of the pyramid of the sun and look out over the complex, you can't help but be amazed by the fact that the construction took place without the use of any pack animals or wheels. And mostly stone tools. Truly a monument to man's ingenuity and intellect. Or, we could just chalk it all up to aliens because primitive man certainly couldn't have done it alone.

Hard to argue with that kind of logic.

Re: Teotihuacan tunnel thrills archaeologists

I hope they find alien bodies in the tomb. Though I know it will be unlikely, a girl can dream can't she?

Re: Teotihuacan tunnel thrills archaeologists

That's too bad. Here I was waiting for the good news that it was used for the very first alien donkey show.
Re: Teotihuacan tunnel thrills archaeologists

Buy teeket meester? We have much cerveza fria. Perhaps a date with my seester? You can buy muchos antibioticos over the counter later.

Just don't eat the complimentary pickled peppers. You'll be crapping broken obsidian the next day.
Re: Teotihuacan tunnel thrills archaeologists

I'm sure they have their own version of Raicilla down there. A few moments of bathing a pepper in that and it would kill any revenge type tickets.
As far as the shards, the best thing I found for that was industrial strength black rubber gloves, professional respirators and goggles as you slit that pimenta in half and disappear all them seeds. Rrrrrrapido! Seriously, ample applications of mustard if you can find it seems to help, don't know why, I know when they pickle those Wiri Wiri peppers from South America, British Guyana, they use a combination of vinegar and mustard. Keeps the seeds from cutting you all to hell and back the next day. Those little yellow "wax pepper" looking suckers from mexico are dangerous. They make Jalapenos seem like candy in comparison.
Re: Teotihuacan tunnel thrills archaeologists

and what IS it about SOL Beer????? If it's Seriously Ice cold well it's passable, sort of. But the least degree off of ice cold and it tastes like they squeegeed it off of the Corona factory floor....