An 'Underworld' Discovered Beneath Mexico's Teotihuacan Ruins

Featured An 'Underworld' Discovered Beneath Mexico's Teotihuacan Ruins

The tunnel reinforces researchers' belief that the theme of life and death was constant throughout the Teotihuacan culture.

The National Institute of Anthropology announced its discovery of a tunnel beneath Mexico’s Teotihuacan Temple.

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The INAH stated Tuesday that by using a computerized topographical instrument they discovered a tunnel 10 meters below the pyramid's front plaza.

The group of archaeologists who have been searching since last year for the ancient serpentine passageways deep beneath the pyramid, call it an “emulation of the underworld.”

"We are seeing that underneath the great monuments of the archaeological zone there are previous buildings. We have seen it under the pyramids of the Sun and the Feathered Serpent, why not under the Pyramid of the Moon?" lead archaeologist Veronica Ortega stated.

For years, researchers have found traces of burials and offerings within sacred spaces in the Pyramid of the Moon, which are absent from the other structures such as the Sun and the Feathered Serpent.

“Those of the Pyramid of the Moon have an enormous advantage for our study of symbolism and the function of the ritual spaces: for the first time in the history of Teotihuacan archeology complexes of burials and offerings are detected at the height of a construction of great proportions,” archaeologists Saburo Sugiyama and Leonardo Lopez Lujan wrote.

Anthropologists hope that the discovery of the tunnel may shed some light on the incredible builders who are responsible for some of Latin America’s archaeological treasures such as the pyramids of the Sun, the Moon, Quetzalcoatl, and the Feathered Serpent.

“They are, as always, unknowns, mysteries that archaeologists, detectives of space-time, are slowly revealing,” the pair of researches continued to say.

Up until now, life among the ancient Tenochtitlan tribe who occupied the land between 100 BC to AD 750 was shrouded in mystery. A community of over 100,000 people vanished without a trace, with researches left to speculate at the reasoning for the abandonment of their famous structures. Their customs, rulers, and beliefs all lost completely.

"Almost the entire population of the valley - some 70 kilometers north of present-day Mexico City - lived there in the big city. It was organized like a grid. Most of the population lived in houses well enough built to call them palaces," Hungarian archaeologist Ester Pasztory wrote in a book on the Teotihuacan people. Pasztory has dedicated years studying the subject.

The tunnels running beneath the other pyramids reinforce researchers’ belief that the theme of life and death was constant throughout the Teotihuacan culture.

“The fact that the tunnel was sealed by the Teotihuacans themselves would give them the opportunity to find new evidence of ritual organization, but also sociopolitical, so it will be necessary to make comparisons between this possible conduit and those that run under the Pyramid of the Sun and the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, in search of a better understanding of the meaning of the city," Ortega explained.

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