Published On: Wed, Oct 30th, 2019

Archaeology news: Researchers discover secret Aztec tunnel world beneath the streets of Me | World | News

The ancient water tunnel is thought to have been built by Emperor Montezuma I in the 15th century. Inscriptions, carvings and paintings inside, as well as the tunnel itself, are thought to be linked to the Empire’s god of water and fertility, Tlaloc.

Announcing the discovery, the Mexican Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) revealed they had found the densely decorated tunnel in the city of Ecatepec de Morelos within the central state of Mexico.

Several carvings out of rock were found inside, as well as chunks of statue thought to have unbounded archaeological value.

According to local media, researchers found 11 carved images on the wall of the tunnel, which measured 27.5ft long, as well as the remains of a wooden gate.

The images inside the tunnel have been linked to Tlaloc, one of several gods the polytheistic Aztecs worshipped.

Tlaloc was associated as a beneficent giver of life and sustenance.

Despite this benevolent aspect, Aztecs learned to fear Tlaloc as it became apparent that the deity could send hail, thunder and lightening, and for its ability to manipulate water.

Raul Garcia Chavez, project coordinator of the excavation, told local media that his team had been working on the site for more than 10 years – since 2004.

It was then that they launched a conservation project around la Calzada de San Cristobal, the site where infrastructure was built in he 17th century by indigenous peoples, as reported by the monk of the time, Juan de Torquemada.

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This led Dr Kuraszkiewicz to conclude that the hieroglyphs were in fact a poor copy, likely done by an illiterate “scribe” attempting to lift what they had seen on other coffins.

Burial sites are usually made up of noblemen and people of whose status was untouchable.

Thus, inscriptions are more often than not near perfect, with flawless design and patterns, and easily decipherable code.

Mr Kuraszkiewicz labelled the inscriptions as “clumsy” and likely written by an illiterate worker.

In total, 36 mummies were found at Saqqare, Egypt’s famous “city of the dead”.

The giant cemetery is home to thousands of ancient corpses and is the site of the Djoser pyramid.

At 4,700 years old, the pyramid is regarded as the first pyramid ever built.

The coffins found in the new site, thought to be between 2,000 and 2,600 years old, were in extremely bad condition.

The bodies inside were only given a simple wrapping and embalming, suggesting the dead were of working or middle class families, rather than the elite.

However, this discovery was not entirely in vain, as it for the first time proved people of lower social standing to have mimicked their rich and famous counterparts.

Mr Kuraszkiewicz told the Polish Press Agency: “Most of the mummies we discovered were very modest.

“They were only subjected to basic embalming treatments, wrapped in bandages and placed directly in pits dug in the sand.

“There are no inscriptions or personal items that would hint at these people’s names or professions,” he added.

“But analysis of skeletal remains indicates that they mostly performed hard labour.”

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