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Ancient tunnel under Teotihuacan may lead to Royal tombs

Mexican archaeologists have announced that a years-long exploration of an underground tunnel beneath the ancient city of Teotihuacan in Mexico has yielded thousands of artifacts and may lead to royal tombs.

According to a news release on Reuters, the entrance to the 1,800-year-old tunnel was first discovered in 2003, and an extensive project involving both human researchers and remote-control robots, has been ongoing ever since.

The tunnel is located approximately 18 meters below the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, the third largest pyramid at Teotihuacan, which flourished between 100 BC and 750 AD.

The ancient city of Teotihuacan, which is located about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Mexico city, is one of the largest and most important sacred cities of ancient Mesoamerica, whose name means "the city of the gods" in the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs. It once supported an estimated population of 100,000 – 200,000 people, who raised giant monuments such as the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon.  However, much about Teotihuacan remains unknown, including the origin and language of the people who lived there, as they did not leave behind any written records.

The entrance to the tunnel was found beneath the Temple of the Feathered Serpent

The entrance to the tunnel was found beneath the Temple of the Feathered Serpent. Credit: INAH

Project leader Sergio Gomez said researchers recently reached the end of the 340-foot (103-meter) tunnel, within which they found an estimated 50,000 objects, including finely carved stone sculptures, jewelry, shells, animal bones, seeds, obsidian blades and arrow heads.

The tunnel was full of remnants of pyrite or magnetite, a metal not found in the area, which was brought to Teotihuacan and milled. It was used to paint the roof, giving it a sparkling effect. They also found more than 300 metal spheres, of unknown purpose. [Read similar: ‘ The Temple of the Feathered Serpent and the gold-coloured spheres’ ]

Inside the tunnel under the ancient city of Teotihuacan

Inside the tunnel under the ancient city of Teotihuacan. Credit: INAH

“The Tunnel is the metaphorical representation of the conception of the underworld,” said Gomez.  In the middle of the tunnel, three chambers were found that could hold more important finds.  A large offering found near the entrance to the chambers, suggests they could be the tombs of the city's elite. “Due to the magnitude of the offerings that we’ve found, it [royal tombs] can’t be in any other place,” said Gomez, who speculates that they may find some of the most powerful rulers of the pre-Hispanic world.

Archaeologists have never found any remains believed to belong to the rulers of Teotihuacan. Such a discovery would be monumental, as it would led light on hierarchical structure of the city and whether rule was hereditary. 

The chambers have not yet been excavated; the full exploration will take at least another year.

Featured image: The ancient city of Teotihuacan in Mexico. Source: BigStockPhotos

By April Holloway

Comments

The name Teotihuacan, comes from the greeks words ΘΕΟΣ (TEO) and ΤΥΧΗ (TIHUA) meaning "The city who haved the good fortune (favor) from God". There is an american film, many years ago, and an U.S. archaeologist explain this clearly. The question for me is...., "who discovered the American Continent?" [...sorry about my bad english, I 'd never educated the language) TEOTIXOYAKAN (ΤΕΟ-ΤΙΧΟΥΑ-ΚΑΝ) Στην γλώσσα των ιθαγενών τότε, σήμαινε η πόλη που έχει την εύνοια του θεού. ΤΕΟ = θεός, ΤΙΧΟΥΑ = Τύχη, Εύνοια. (Ειπωμένο σε αμερικάνικο ντοκυμανταίρ που είχα δεί προ 15ετίας περίπου).
Τώρα αν είναι τυχαία η ονομασία που παραπέμπει στα ελληνικά....
Ακόμα ένα στοιχείο που ακυρώνει την ανακάλυψη της αμερικανικής ηπείρου από τον Χριστόφορο Κολόμβο που είχε γεννηθεί στη Χίο και είχε λάβει και ελληνική παιδεία μέσα στα άλλα καλούδια που είχε λάβει

No, the name Teotihuacan is nahuatl, not greek. The greeks were an entirely different civilization on a completely different continent that had nothing to do with mesoamerican civilizations, cultures or language. The nahuatl and greek words teo do not share similar meanings or concepts. Just because two cultures have similar sounding words does not mean one culture had anything to do with the other. I am so sick of people thinking indigenous cultures were incapable of shaping their own worlds, and must have been influenced by aliens or Europeans

They are looking for something that is NOT there......

All those people, are buried somewhere though. that is what they need to find. And there would have to be a King..? Nobles perhaps, priests maybe, all are somewhere, close by.. Ground penetrating radar could find them unless buried too deep, but i wager they could be inside or yes, under those smaller pyramids, maybe the radar won't go deep enough for that and, with those being held sacred, they won't be disturbed, So perhaps a tech more advanced than 2016 would have to be developed for that purpose, and could then be used all over the planet..So much history, is buried, just waiting ! :)

Splunking (level 9000) definitely a good way to keep items from grave robbers.

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