Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Earthquake uncovers hidden temple at Mexico’s historic Teopanzolco pyramid

Steven Clarke | 13 July, 2018, 03:16

Archaeologists assessing damage caused by an quake in Mexico last summer have stumbled onto traces of an ancient temple, officials said.

The smaller, older temple inside probably dates to 1150 to 1200, and rewrites the history of the area. It would have measured 20 feet by 13 feet, archaeologists said.

A man works at the substructure inside the Teopanzolco pyramid in Cuernavaca, Morelos State, Mexico on July 11, 2018.

Parts of the undiscovered temple at the base of an ancient pyramid has been excavated after natural disaster damage exposed the 900-year-old structure.

'There was no news, until now, of the existence of a substructure within the pyramidal structure, ' said INAH Director Isabel Campos Goenaga at a press conference.

When the institute carried out studies with radar to examine the pyramid's structure, they found traces of the newly discovered Tlaloc temple.

Barbara Koniecza, an archaeologist, said that the temple discovery changes the chronology of the Teopanzolco pyramid. "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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Teopanzolco is a popular site for visitors to the Ehecatl Temple, a building dedicated to the Aztecan deity associated with the wind.

'The pyramid suffered considerable rearrangement of the core of its structure, ' Koniecza said.

"The floor of both shrines sank and bent, which also put their stability in danger", Koniecza said. Among the temple's remains they also found an incense burner and ceramic shards.

The structure is dedicated to Tláloc, the Aztec rain god.

The magnitude 7.1 quake on September 19 caused parts of the pyramid to sink or lean.

The archaeological zone, located in the state of Morelos, remains protected and closed to the public since the magnitude-7.1 quake put its stability at risk.

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