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Earthquake reveals remains of temple inside Aztec Pyramid

A 7.1 magnitude earthquake has led to the discovery of an ancient shrine dedicated to the rain god Tláloc beneath the pyramid of Teopanzolco in Cuernavac, Mexico.

The pyramid had suffered heavy damage during the September 2017 earthquake that flattened parts of Mexico City. It caused a re-alignment of the pyramid’s core, resulting in subsidence and sinking of the structure.

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The discovery was made when researchers of the Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) carried out radar surveys to asses the pyramid’s damage and found a 6 by 4-metre temple within the pyramid.

Other discoveries include a pulaster ordained with stucco,  fragments of wall stucco, ceramics and a censer for ritual ceremonies.

The temple is thought to belong to the middle post-classic period from 1150-1200 CE and probably belonged to the Tlahuica civilisation.

INAH specialists discover remains of a temple inside the Teopanzolco pyramid, in Morelos. Photo: Melitón Tapia, INAH.

During this time, various Nahua groups had moved into the Central Mexican Plateau where the Tlahuicas founded nearby Cuauhnahuac and Teopanzolco. They were conquered in 1427 AD by the Aztec Emperor Moctezuma Ilhuicamina, after which they were integrated into the Aztec Empire.

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INAH

Header Image Credit: Melitón Tapia, INAH.

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Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 8,000 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.
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