Damage from Mexico quake leads scientists to ancient temple

Blanche Robertson
July 14, 2018

Archaeologists were using the radar to check for any structural damage to the pyramid in Cuernavaca after the devastating natural disaster in September. The archaeologist said that the temple inspired the construction of the Templo Mayor in Tenochtitlan, which is now Mexico City. While it was not unusual for the Tlahuica people, who built this complex, to construct new structures on top of others, the discovery was uncertainly not expected. However, since it appears that these two temples were built on top of at a later date, it suggests that this city was of significance long before this time period.

The researchers were equally surprised to find out that the temple hints at the site being much older than previously thought. Isabel Campos Goenaga, the director of the INAH Center in Morelos, said in a press conference Wednesday that the Teopanzolco pyramid was greatly affected by the quake.

'In spite of what the quake meant, it is necessary to be thankful that, for this natural phenomenon, this important structure [appeared] that changes the dating of the archaeological site, ' Goenaga said.

An archaeologist from the INAH Morelos Centre said it was common for pre-Hispanic cultures to build one temple over another.

The temple dates back further than the pyramid, which was built sometime between 1200 and the Spanish conquest in 1521.

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Archaeologists in Mexico have uncovered the sub-structure of an ancient pyramid that came to light after a devastating quake in September.

The newly-uncovered temple may have been dedicated to Tláloc - the god of rain - while if, as suspected, another place of worship exists, it may have been dedicated to Huitzilopochtli - the deity of sun, war and human sacrifice, Konieczna said.

Archaeologists found an incense burner and ceramic shards among the remains.

Approximately two meters below the level of the floor that now has the top of the pyramid, the team found located the vestiges of the substructure, and found it was architecturally very similar to the current temple, marked in red on the right.

View of the substructure inside the Teopanzolco pyramid in Cuernavaca, Morelos State, Mexico on July 11. "We have already detected two construction stages, and where we stand is considered to be built in the oldest phase before the second phase of the Templo Mayor", Ms Konieczna said.

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