Thursday, August 16, 2007

More Tombs! Aztec Royal Tomb Possibly Located

In more tomb news, archaeologists in Mexico believe they may have located the tomb of Montezuma's uncle and predecessor, the Aztec emperor Ahuizotl. This would be an unparalleled find, as no Aztec royal tomb has ever been discovered. Aztec royalty were buried in Tenochtitlan, which the Spanish methodically stripped of its native monuments in converting it to Mexico City. Most of the major Aztec buildings have later structures on top of them. Some of these colonial-era buildings burned down in 1993, giving researchers a rare opportunity to dig beneath. Excavators are working through what appear to be votive deposits and have discovered a possible entrance (the news articles are unhappily less than clear), and ground-penetrating radar has revealed what may be chambers beneath the soil. Above the site was found a stone monument with a carving of an Aztec earth goddess, Tlaltecuhtli, with a date, 1502. That is the year Ahuizotl died.

Tenochtitlan was built on an island in the middle of Lake Texcoco. The lake has long since been drained, but the water table underneath Mexico City is still quite close to the surface, making work difficult. I'll keep our readers updated if any further news comes in.

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