A general view shows the "Plaza de las Tres Culturas", or the plaza of the three cultures, in the central Tlatelolco area of Mexico City December 27, 2007. Archeologists have discovered the ruins of the 800-year-old Aztec pyramid in the heart of the Mexican capital that could show the ancient city is at least a century older than previously thought. The pyramid, found last month as part of an investigation begun in August, could have been built in 1100 or 1200, signaling the Aztecs began to develop their civilization in the mountains of central Mexico earlier than believed. Image Credit: REUTERS/Henry Romero (MEXICO)
Pyramid Find In Central Mexico City Changes Site Date
Archaeologists have discovered the ruins of an 800-year-old Aztec pyramid in the heart of the Mexican capital that could show the ancient city is at least a century older than previously thought.
This find was uncovered just last month and additional skeletal evidence on the site will give clues to the society and culture of the Aztec civilization.
The Aztecs who are credited with inventing chocolate, ruled an empire stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean and encompassing much of modern-day central Mexico.
This excerpted from Reuters via the Courier Mail (Austrailia)
Ancient Aztec pyramid found in heart of Mexico City
By Miguel Angel Gutierrez in Mexico - December 28, 2007 12:46pm
Mexican archaeologists found the ruins, which are about 11 metres high, in the central Tlatelolco area, once a major religious and political centre for the Aztec elite.
Since the discovery of another pyramid 15 years ago, historians have thought Tlatelolco was founded by the Aztecs in 1325, the same year as the nearby twin city of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire. The Spanish razed Tenochtitlan in 1521 to found Mexico City, conquering the Aztecs.
"We have found the stairs of this, much older, pyramid. The (Aztec) timeline is going to need to be revised," archaeologist Patricia Ledesma said at the site on today.
Tlatelolco, visited by thousands of tourists for its pre-Hispanic ruins and colonial-era Spanish church and convent, is also infamous for the 1968 massacre of leftist students by state security forces there, days before Mexico hosted the Olympic Games.
Ms Ledesma and the archaeological group's coordinator, Salvador Guilliem, said they will continue to dig and study the area next year to get a better idea of the pyramid's size and age.
The archaeologists also have detected a sculpture that could be of the Aztec rain god Tlaloc, or of the god of the sky and earth Tezcatlipoca.
Some of the five skulls discovered are seen in the "Plaza de las Tres Culturas", or the plaza of the three cultures, in the central Tlatelolco area of Mexico City December 27, 2007. A team of researchers from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) discovered an 800 year-old pyramid in the main temple of the religious and political centre of Tlatelolco, known to have been inhabited by the Mexicas, the Aztec's most powerful group. They also found, a few metres from the pyramid, a living complex in the city and the five skulls dating back to the year 1431. Image Credit: REUTERS/Henry Romero (MEXICO)
In addition, the dig has turned up five skulls and a series of rooms near the pyramid that could date from 1431.
"What we hope to find soon should tell us much more about the society of Tlatelolco," said Ms Ledesma.
Mexico City is littered with pre-Hispanic ruins. In August, archaeologists in the city's crime-ridden Iztapalapa district unearthed what they believe may be the main pyramid of Tenochtitlan.