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Mexico earthquake unearths ancient temple

/ 01:00 PM July 12, 2018

Works take place at the substructure inside the Teopanzolco pyramid in Cuernavaca, Morelos State, Mexico on July 11, 2018. After an earthquake took place on September 19, 2017, the pyramid was damaged and a substructure inside was revealed. The Mexican National Institute of Archaeology and History (INAH) informed Wednesday the substructure could correspond to a temple dating back to 1150-1200 AD. / AFP PHOTO / RONALDO SCHEMIDT

A devastating earthquake that struck central Mexico last September gave way to a fascinating discovery: remnants of a rain god temple within an Aztec pyramid.

The temple, dedicated to a deity called Tlaloc and located within the Teopanzolco pyramid in Cuernavaca, Morelos state, belonged to the region’s Tlahuica culture.

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As a result of the earthquake, “the pyramid suffered considerable rearrangement of the core of its structure,” said archaeologist Barbara Koniecza of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

The greatest damage was at the top, where two temples had already been discovered — one dedicated to the Mesoamerican god of the sun and war, Huitzilopochtli, and another to Tlaloc.

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“The floor of both shrines sank and bent, which also put their stability in danger,” Koniecza said.

When the INAH carried out studies with radar to examine the pyramid’s structure, they found traces of the newly discovered Tlaloc temple.

The structure is believed to date back to around the year 1150. Experts say it would have been around six meters long and four meters wide. Ceramic remains and an incense burner belonging to the Tlahuica culture were also found.

Shortly after midday on September 19, 2017, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit central Mexico, killing 369 people, mostly in the capital Mexico City.  /muf

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TAGS: archaeology, Cuernavaca, Earthquake, Mexico, temple
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