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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-04-10 03:26 PM
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Mexico finds tunnel, possible tombs under ruins
Mexico finds tunnel, possible tombs under ruins
Published Date: August 05, 2010

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 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 m
onth, 40 feet (12 meters) below the surface.

They lowered a small camera into the 12-foot-wide (4-meter) 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 center was built," archaeologist Sergio Gomez said. "This was the most sacred place." The camera showed the tunnel appearing to extend about 37 yards (meters) befo
re 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 10 yard (meters) 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 fou
nd 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.

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sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-16-10 08:20 PM
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1. Wow.
That is too cool. I can't wait to hear what they find. I might scrape enough money together to renew my subscription to Archaeology just to find out.
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