Likely burial place of one of the last Aztec rulers still awaits discovery

June 17th, 2009 - 4:32 pm ICT by ANI  

Toronto, June 17 (ANI): Archeologists digging in the dirt and black ooze under Mexico City’s most important public square are still awaiting the discovery of a royal tomb, which may be the likely burial place of one of the last Aztec rulers.

“They keep finding astonishing things as they inch their way along,” David Carrasco, a Harvard University historian who’s worked with Mexican archeologists at the Templo Mayor, told

But, the great find - a royal tomb - has eluded scientists.

The city of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital that lies beneath the modern Mexico City, was founded on an island in the middle of a saltwater lake.

A high water table makes progress difficult. “When you dig a pit or a trench, you find very quickly the water level and cannot continue if you don’t have a powerful pumping system,” said Leonardo Lopez, the archeologist heading the excavation.

Since Lopez uncovered a carved monolith of the ferocious earth deity Tlaltecuhtli in 2006, there has been intense speculation, based on historical writings and their own discoveries, that the four-metre-by-3.5-metre stone covers a royal tomb.

The stone monolith is inscribed with dates and language associated with Ahuitzotl, a king who died in 1502.

Radar indicates “anomalies” under the monolith, which could be funerary spaces.

Though archeological finds in Mexico City date back to 1790, no one has ever found the burial site of an Aztec king.

“Everyone wants us to dig faster, and this is the only thing we cannot do,” said Lopez.

“You can only excavate once an archeological site. We are not treasure hunters but scientists, and we have a professional responsibility to record the slightest artifact in the best way,” he added.

Still, they have uncovered the kinds of treasures that excite public interest, including a canine figure, possibly a dog, with turquoise earplugs, jade necklace and a golden bell around its feet. (ANI)

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