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Archaeologists Hot on Trail of Aztec Royalty

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Firebaugh
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« on: June 19, 2010, 05:34:43 pm »


    Archaeologists Hot on Trail of Aztec Royalty

    Analysis by Zahra Hirji
    Fri Jun 18, 2010 03:35 PM ET
    0 Comments | Leave a Comment

Aztec archaeologists can almost taste the jack pot. None of the empire's royal burial sites have ever been found, but researchers participating in the Templo Mayor excavation project in downtown Mexico City think an emperor’s tomb is just around the corner.

In 2006, researchers discovered a 4-meter (13-foot) long carving of Tlaltecuhtli, the Aztec earth goddess (shown at left). Since then, further digging has revealed bizarre offerings that archaeologists believe indicate the presence of a near by royal burial.

Tlaltecuhtli was one of the most feared deities. She represented life and nurturing, as well as death. Stories recount her insatiable appetite for blood and the large, unearthed carving depicts a stream of blood rushing out of her mouth.

To honor the powerful goddess, the Aztec buried an odd assortment of offerings, including a wolf adorned in turquoise jewelry (featured in the picture to the right), underneath the stone slab. Many pieces of the offering hailed from distant lands, such as shells from the ocean. 

AP100616052138Portions of the offering and the Tlaltecuhtli carving are now on display at the exposition “Moctezuma II, Times and Destiny of a Ruler” at the Templo Mayor Museum.

Archaeologist Leonardo Lopez Lujan told the Associated Press:

    “These are offerings we have never seen before, and obviously the give us very good indications that at some point we can find a royal tomb.”

Lujan speculates that the proximal tomb belongs to the Aztec emperor Ahuizotl who died in 1502. In the Tlaltecuhtli carving, the goddess holds a rabbit with 10 dots. This symbol represents a date on the Aztec calendar and translates to the year 1502.

The archaeologists plan on expanding the excavation site in search of the emperor’s elusive tomb.

Images: Eduardo Verdugo, AP

http://news.discovery.com/archaeology/archaeologists-hot-on-trail-of-aztec-royalty.html
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Firebaugh
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2010, 05:40:10 pm »

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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2010, 05:42:24 pm »

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